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Full text of "Genealogical history of the Lee family of Virginia and Maryland from A.D. 1300 to A.D. 1866"

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FROM A.D. 1300 TO A.D. 1 866 





I 868 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year iS68, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United Stcites for the Southern District of New York. 

Geo C. R.\nd & Avery, 3 Cornhill, Boston. 



Surviving Members of the Lee Family, 



^jyHIS ancient genealogy, accompanied by an original coat- 
^^ of-arms, has long slumbered among the old family papers 
of the compiler of this work. Its authenticity is undoubted. 
The sad war that for four years darkened our land developed in 
the North and South instances of personal heroism that make 
a part of the moral history of the world. 

Although the cause of which he was the military leader was 
a failure, the name of Gen. Robert E. Lee is universally respected 
at the North and in Europe ; while at the South it is almost rev- 
erenced, especially by the soldiers he commanded and the officers 
who served under him. That he has proved himself a soldier, 
" without fear, and without reproach," is universally conceded ; 
that he is a Christian gentleman and patriot, all who know him 
will bear willing testimony. To such a man, the "pomp of 
heraldry " has but few attractions ; but his name, whether linked 
with success or misfortune, is an unblemished one, and already 
belongs to history. This record of genealogical notes and inci- 
dents, therefore, is offered to the public as material for the 
historian, and as a tribute of respect to an old and honored revo- 
lutionary name. 

" Broad Oak," near Keswick, 
Albemarle County, Va., May 31, 1866. 


^^^HE family of Lee is one of the most ancient in a. d. 1066 
J^ the records of the EngHsh Peerage ; and its gen- ^° ^302. 
ealogy can be traced back to the earUest history of our own and 
our mother country. 

In the eleventh century, we find the name of Launcelot Lee, 
Loudon, France, as an honored associate of William the Con- 
queror, going over to England with that chieftain, and distinguish- 

ing himself at the battle of Hastings. 

We thus learn that the family was of Norman origin, which 
is confirmed by the Christian names of many of its branches. 
The following brief notice of Launcelot Lee is extracted from 
an old manuscript once in the possession of the Rev. William 
F. Lee of Virginia: — 

" The Lee Family of Virginia is the youngest branch of one 
of the oldest families of England. Launcelot Lee, the founder, 
came originally from Loudon, France. He went over to England 
with William the Conqueror. After the battle of Hastings, when 
the estates of the native English nobility were divided among the 
followers of William, a fine estate in Essex was bestowed upon 



" Lionel Lee, first Earl of Litchfield, raised a com- 
pany of ' gentlemen cavaliers,' at the head of which he 
accompanied Richard Coeur de Lion in the third Crusade, 
A.D. 1 192. For gallant conduct at the siege of Acre, he was 
made Earl of Litchfield, and another estate was given to the 
family, which was afterwards called ' Ditchly.' The armor worn 
by Lionel Lee may be seen in the Horse Armory of the Tower 
of London. 

" Richard Lee accompanied the unfortunate Earl of Surrey in 
his expedition against the Scotch borders, in 1542. Two of the 
Lee Family have been Knights of the Garter; and their banners, 
surmounted by the Lee arms, may be seen in St. George's 
Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Lee arms consist of a shield, 
bend sinister, battled and embattled; crest — a closed visor, sur- 
mounted by a squirrel holding a nut, with the motto, ' Non 
incautus fiituru " 

In comparing the above extract with the old genealogy in 
our hands, and with other English records, we find some slight 
discrepancies : they are unimportant, but will be hereafter noted. 
The manuscript evidently refers to another branch of the Lee 
Family, distinct from the one we are attempting to trace, since 
we nowhere find in the latter the name of Lionel Lee, nor any 
reference to the family seat of Ditchly. It will be 

A.D. 1200. r T^- 1 1 • 

recollected that this family estate of Uitchly is men- 
tioned in Sir Walter Scott's novel of " Woodstock " as the 
home of Sir Henry Lee; still, as the coat-of-arms which we 
present closely resembles that described in the above manu- 
script, it shows that the Lees of Langly and Cotton, in Shrop- 
shire, descended from the same ancestry, though diverging in 
different lateral branches. 


The present old srenealogry commences about the 

^ ... A.D. 1090. 

close of the eleventh century, and continues, in a direct 
line, to the year 1663, from which date we have endeavored to 
trace it to the present time. We have tried to do this with 
perfect accuracy ; but, should any link be found rusted or 
broken, it must be attributed to the wear and tear of time, and 
not to any want of care on our part. 

It is observed that the name first appears in the genealogical 
table as Lega, or De Le, but gradually assumes the present form 
of Lee. This change is much less than is usually found in 
the descent and transmission of Norman names, the originals 
of which are often nearly lost in the successive transformations. 
At the time of the Conquest, family names were rarely used. 
The " Red," " Beau-Clerc," " Coeur de Lion," or some character- 
istic trait or feature, was adopted by distinguished leaders and 
their families, until the heraldic crest or shield (on which they 
were borne) became overloaded by these family escutcheons : 
titles then were instituted, suggested either by the birth-place of 
the chief, or by some office held at court. 

The nearest approach to a family name was the assumption 
of the father's Christian name in addition to his own, by which 
a man who had no other designation announced his Norman 
descent. The only description of surnames known among the 
English at this time seems to have been some epithet descrip^ 
tive of personal character, though the people ordinarily had but 
one name. When the Normans began to take second names, 
which usually had the prefix De, Le, or Fitz {fils, son), it was 
esteemed a mark of plebeian extraction to have but one name. 

The word " Lee " is from Leaz, plain or untilled land, probably 


descriptive of the aspect of the country in which the 

A.D. 1200. . 

family lived : Lcga, which seems here to be the origi- 
nal, is doubtless from Legra, a small ancient village in Shrop- 

The family was doubtless extensive, even at this early period 
of history ; for we find the names, Lega, De Le, and even Lee, 
frequently occurring in " The Doomsday Book," which was 
compiled soon after the Conquest. We also find frequent refer- 
ence to the Lees in "The Rotuli Curiae Regis," or Rolls of the 
Court of Pleas, as given during the reigns of Richard I. and 
King John. 

We give interesting extracts from some of these suits, which 
are found in " The Rotuli Curias : " — 

" Ephraim Dulms, against Gilbertits de la Lega, for a plea of 
land, was respited until the 15th, or St. John's Day, because the 
said Gilbertus was in the king's service : by order of the king, 
beyond the sea (France). This suit is again respited, sine die, 
while the said Gilbertus remains in the king's service." * 

In another suit, the wife of Gilbertus is mentioned, whose 
name was Matilda. We also meet with the names of Germinus 
de Lega, ReginaldiLs de Lega, Robert de la Leg, or Lega, Adam 
de Lega, and William de Lega. Of the last (William), it is re- 
corded, "Contributed a half-mark f for the benefit of the Church." 
We often find the single name of Lee and Lega used as denoting 
the same family. 

In the Lincolnshire term, Robert de Takhurst (beyond the 
sea), in the king's service, sustains a suit against Rodolphus 
de Bradclee, for Gilbertus de Lee, for a plea of land. Also 

* See Rotuli Curiae, vol. i. p. iSo-387. 

t The mark was a silver coin of 13s. 4d. sterling. 


" Henrici de Lee appears on the fourth day of the assizes, 

. . , A.D. 1200. 

against Richard de Lee, on a plea for a ' caricuri ' of 
land situated in Leicestershire. Richard not appearing, it was 
decreed that the land should be held under the king ; and Rich- 
ard was summoned to appear at Westminster, on St. John's Day, 
to make whatever appeal necessary." 

The abbreviations Le, Lee, Leg, and Legh, each stood for Lee, 

as we find, — 

Henricus de Le, 

Rodolphus de la Lee, 

Ricardus de la Lee, 

which are of the same family ; their names evidently having 
been written at different periods and places, varied with the 
changes of time and language. As we approach a later period, 
the name assumes its more definite shape. 

From " The Fine Rolls," or " Rotuli Finem," as preserved in 
the Tower of London, which q-ive a succinct history 

A.D. 1268. 

of each individual case, from the sixth year of King 
John to Edward IV., we are able to deduce much interesting 
matter connected with the Lees, as well as with the families with 
which they intermarried. 

" William de la Le (or Lee) and Alicia gave a half-mark for 
a writ from the king's bench for a hundred of land in the county 
of Wiltshire." 

" The kino^ also took homas^e of Henrici de Le, son and heir 
of Johannes de Lee, deceased (who held lands under the king's 
head), for all tenants which his father, the said Johannes, held 
under the king ; and that the said lands and tenants be returned 
to him. It was ordered that the Escheator of Lancashire take 


security of the aforesaid Henry, on account of the kinar, 

A.D. 1268. ^ . ^ „ 

for the return of the said lands and tenants," upon 
which conditions, it seems, they were released to him. 

We next find '' Hcnrici de Lega, who, with his wife Eugenia, 
gave one mark for a hearing before the assizes of Eborasci ; " 
and again, we find that " the king respited Roger de Leye, or 
Lee, until the Easter term following, for a debt or fine of ^70 
for a hundred of land." He is respited until the Easter terra 
following; and the barons are ordered to "conform to this 
decree, which is given at Windsor, Nov. 10, 1268." 

The names of Johannes, Ricardus, and Phillipus Lee, continue 
to be repeatedly mentioned on these rolls, which agree so nearly 
in time and circumstances with those of the old genealogy now 
presented, as to show the identity not only of the family, but 
even of the persons. 

The family seat of the Lees, at this date, we are un- 

A.D. 1269. 

able definitely to locate, though Burke, in his " Landed 
Gentry" of England, says, "Cotton Hall, the ancient family seat 
of the Lees, descended from father to son from the reign of Ed- 
ward L to the eighteenth century," which, we may suppose, was 
the family seat of the Lees at the time this genealogy com- 
mences. Essex was the county first settled by Launcelot Lee ; 
and Ditchly, the home of that branch of the Lees.' It was the 
manor of Sir Henry Lee, Esq., of Quarendon, Buckinghamshire, 
who was created Earl of Litchfield, on the 2 2d May, 161 1, which 
is the first earldom of that place we find recorded. He was 
succeeded by his son. Sir Edward Henry Lee, Baronet, who was 
created Baron of Spelsbury, Viscount Quarendon, and Earl of 
Litchfield, 5th January, 1674. With him the title became extinct. 


The Lees of England were zealous supporters of the 
Stuarts. We find many of the names recorded in our ' ' '" ^' 
present genealogy among those holding ofifice and important 
positions under the crown during the reign of that unfortu- 
nate family. There is a record of two distinguished persons in 
connection with the formation of this genealogy, — of Sir William 
Dugdale, Clarencicux-at-arms, who made a " visitation " to Shrop- 
shire in 1663 * and of Richard Lee, who was also Clarencieux- 
at-arms in the year 1594. This latter was unquestionably one 
of the Lee Family, and possibly originated the record. 

With this introductory notice, we now present this ancient 
genealogical record. We have endeavored to increase its inter- 
est by adding such links and facts as we have been able to collect 
by correspondence with those connected with the family, and by 
diligent search through such volumes of ancient English history 
and heraldry as the principal libraries of our country afford. 

The numbers in brackets refer the reader to remarks which 
are to be found in the Appendix. 

* See Harleian Manuscripts. 

xms 0f i\u ^u gamilg. 

fN Europe, during the primeval ages, as early as a.d. 800, 
heraldry was the only conventional method of distinguishing 
families, and even nations, and their representatives. So neces- 
sary was it in the absence of a more enlightened mode of 
distinction, that it was reduced, at an early period, to a science, 
for the designation of both private and public dignity. A sim- 
ple device, characteristic of the person or family, was usually 
worn. The heraldic crest, shield, and supporters were not 
merely confined to the heads of governments, but were also 
adopted by each family of hereditary eminence who aspired to 
distinction ; and thus, in time, the escutcheon held a more potent 
sway than the cross of the middle ages. 

Amid the many and various-colored devices which were 
adopted and added to the shield by intermarriage or promotion, 
there would always be one distinguishing feature to show the 
origin of the family, which was usually denoted by the crest. 
This would be handed down to their posterity as a sacred object, 
never to be lost sight of; and thus the parent stock would always 
be retained amid the complicity of symbolic forms of successive 
ages, and could readily be traced to its original source. 


From the many works on heraldry, we find several forms and 
descriptions of the Lee arms, each of which . vary in minor 
particulars, though retaining one distinguishing feature ; viz., the 
crest, representing a squirrel eating a nut. This single heredi- 
tary mark is still borne upon the family plate of the Lees of 
Virginia, and can be traced as far back as we have a record 
of the family. 

The old genealogical document has given us two sets of col- 
ored arms, one for each branch of the family, exact copies of 
which are given in the frontispiece to this work. 

The arms here given are those of Alliance, as indicating 
intermarriage of families, and, when adopted, were called an 
Escutcheon of Pretence when the bride was an heiress. 

In our introductory remarks, a description of the Lee arms, 
of the House of Litchfield, is given ; which consist of " a shield, 
bend sinister, battled and embattled; crest — a closed visor, sur- 
mounted by a squirrel holding a nut, with the motto, — 

' Noil iiicautus futuru " 

The only resemblance here is the squirrel. In Mr. William 
Berry's " Heraldic EncyclopEedia," the Lee arms of Langly 
are thus given : — 

" Gides (red) fesse ; compony or (gold), and azure (blue), be- 
tween eight billets <^r^^;zzf (white). Crest — on a staff raguly, a 
squirrel cracking a nut ; from dexter end of staff, an oak-branch 
fructed, all pp''." 

Another is given also of the same family, though a different 
branch : ■ — 

" Gzdes fesse counter compony or, and argent, between thirteen 
billets, seven in chief and six in base of last." 


Another is given, — 

''Argent, a chevron between three leopards' heads, sable 

The Lee arms of Sussex are thus given : — 

''Azure (blue), a lion rampant guardant. Argeiit ; crest — a 
stag's head erased or (gold)." 

We observe the similarity in each of these to that we are 
discussing ; the only difference being, that our original contains 
fourteen billets, seven above and below the fesse. 

Of the Lees of Cotton, Burke, in his " British Commoners," 
gives alm.ost an exact drawing of the arms as shown in our old 
document, and which he thus describes : — 

"The arms of Lee of Cotton are quarterly, ist and 4th, 
Gules (red) a fesse, checkee or and azure, between six billets 
argefit. 2d, Party-per-bend indented gules and or, two fleurs- 
de-lis. 3d, Vert (green) — a cross engrailed; argent. Crest — 
a squirrel pp'., between two hazel-branches. Motto, ^ 
" Non nobis tajitum nati." 

This answers more closely to our arms than any that has 
heretofore been given ; the only exception being in the number 
of billets, which, in our original set for the House of Cotton, 
is ten, four above and six below the fesse. The other portions 
here described somewhat resemble the Langley combination. 
The arms of Langley are thus described in the original 
manuscript : — 

" I. Lee. 

2. Astly. 

3. Kirton (most like it). 

4. Pessal. 

5. John de Orton (most like it). 

6. Leer 


The first and sixth are aUke, and, together with the crest, 
from the original Lee coat-of-arms. Of the famihes represented 
as connected by marriage, we have, first, that of Astly, described 
as a " cinquefoil, on an azure field, surrounded by an engrailed 
border argent^ 

We have already seen that Robert de la Lee married a 
daughter of Thomas Astly, a.d. 1385; hence their arms of 
connection are added. 

The cinquefoil is also found in the Lambert arms of Surrey, 
with whom a member of the Lee Family was connected. 

The third division is given as nearly resembling the Kirton 
arms, which are found in Mr. Berry's " County Genealogy" as 
"Quarterly — ^x?>\., argent, 2i fesse ; and chevron in q\\\^{, gules',' 
from which we gain the white fesse and chevron on a red 

The Kirtons were of Westmoreland County, and a family of 

The fourth, or Pessal Family, is thus spoken of in Burke's 
" Dormant Peerage : " — 

" Richard de Pershall, or Peshall, son of Richard Peshall, and 
Alice Somerton, his wife, was a knight, and a person of great 
power in Staffordshire, having been high sheriff, an office 
to I ^^^"^ '^^ those days of great authority, from seventh year of 
Edward III. to eleventh and fifteenth. From him de- 
scended Hugh Peshall or Pessal (as it afterwards became), the 
first of the family who resided at Horsely, in County of Staf- 

" He was sheriff, time fourth year of Henry VII., and 
A.D. 1489. . •' ■' 

married Juliana, daughter of Sir Robert Corbet of 

Morton Corbet." 


Thus we gain their arms through the Corbets, in 
which family Sir Humphry Lee married. Their arms ^'^' ''^^^' 
are thus described : — 

" Cross forme flourette sable ; on a Canton £-2cks, a wolf's head 
of the first. 

"Created 1612, dormant since 171 2." 

The " cross, patee or,'' is also found a prominent feature in the 
Bathiirst arms, in which one of Launcelot Lee's daughters mar- 
ried. The '' Deer head'' is given as forming the crest of the 
Smith arms, a member of which married a daughter of Sir 
Richard Lee of Langley. 

The fifth, the Orton or Horton arms, are described by the 
same author as bearing the " lion rampant : " it is also to be 
found in the Carter arms of Kent ; Dr. William Carter marrying 
Mary, daughter of Launcelot Lee, Esq. The lion is found also 
a marked feature of the Gcodwin arms of Buckinghamshire, to 
a member of which Ann Lee, daughter of Sir Henry Lee, was 
married. - 

From this coat-of-arms, therefore, we should judge that the 
Langley branch of the Lees were intimately connected with noble 
blood, which their arms represent, through the "lion rampant," 
as savoring of royalty. 

The Cotton arms, as shown in the original, are quarterly, and 
represent only the family of Lee and Astly. They resemble the 
Langley arms, but embrace only ten billets and three bars checkee 
in the fessc. 

To the student of heraldry, the billets, embattled bars, cinque- 
foil, and other devices in varied colors, will each be found to 
have an especial meaning. 


The checkee fesse and billets on an ensanguined 
field denote War. 
The cross, Religion. 
The lion, Royalty. 
The cinquefoil, on blue field. Grandeur, &c. 

We thus learn the history of families from the various 
bearings of the escutcheon ; and those now presented will doubt- 
less be cherished as representing an old Revolutionary family, 
whose coat-of-arms is quartered with those of Gen. Washington. 

s^ncalogial Pstotg of t\u ^n gawilg, 

?^HE testimony here given, showing the validity 

of the old genealogy, is found at the e7zd of the ' ' '^^°* 
original ; but we have placed it first, that we may enter into the 
examination of the old document with the greater satisfaction 
upon establishing its authenticity. 

Charles Townly was one of the sir heralds commonly called 
York, Lancaster, Chester, Windsor, Richmond, and Somerset, 
each of whom had his " pursuivant," or attendant, who was styled 
Bleu-Mantel, Rouge-Croix, Rouge-Dragon, or Portcullis ; hence 
we see, that John Pomfret (Rouge-Croix) was the attendant of 
Charles Townly, York Herald, by whose authority the pedigree 
and coat-of-arms were extracted from the herald's office. 

In early times, heralds were employed to demand redress of 
injuries from foreign powers, carry messages of amity or defiance, 
and proclaim peace or war. At a later period, they recorded or 
emblazoned armorial bearings, and arranged public ceremonies; 
hence the establishment of the herald's office. The herald or 
pursuivant had authority to erase any coat-of-arms illegally borne, 
or to grant it to those families entided thereto. 

We have the authenticity of the paper established, not only by 
the following evidence, but also by the crown-stamp upon the 



paper of that date (1750), and which is clearly discerned 
on the original with the motto, ''Pro Patria ejusque 
Libertate,'' encircling the lion rampajtt, bearing in one hand the 
" faces," the other the mace of office ; the whole surmounted by the 
crown, underneath which are the letters " V. R. G. H. E. Y. T.," 
which doubtless denote the seal and motto of the herald's office. 

Charles Townly, York Herald, evidently copied the pedigree 
from the original in the herald's office, as the hand-writing is the 
same throughout, with a marked difference from that of his col- 
league, John Pomfret, whose signature comes last, accompanied 
with the date. 

" Huso de Leo;a or de La, as in the old chart without 

A.D. 1200. 


This is the first record upon the old genealogy, and indicates 
the origin of the name. In our researches, we find but one 
mention of a Hm^o Lee, which occurs in " The Testa de Neville," 
or Feodorum Book, embracing the reigns of King Henry HI. 
and Edward I. The original entry is as follows: — 

*'Hugo de Lega Tenet hydam terre p. svic^ xxx"" ptis unius 
milef^ deo honore." 

This was given in Bedfordshire. We may safely infer that 
Hugo Lee is in direct descent from Lionel Lee, from what has 
already been given ; but, that he came over with the Conqueror, 
we have every reason to doubt, since his name is not to be 
found in the record of that event which, estimating from the first 


genealogical date given, would leave a period of more 

A.D. 1200. 

than two hundred years unrecorded. 

We have previously spoken of the origin of the name, which 
we here find is Lega ; and, save the mention of an " old chart," 
we have nothing to indicate the time and place referred to. 

" Reginaldus Lee, to whom William, son of William 
son of Alani, conceded the lands by petition of Fulco, ^'^\ ^^^ 
son of Warini." 

Reginaldus Lee was a direct descendant, though probably not 
a son, of Hugo Lee. We find him mentioned in the parlia- 
mentary writs of this period as a burgess returned for Bridg- 
worth in 1307, and also again in 131 5; parliament being then 
held at Westminster. 

From the same records of the time of Edward L, we find a 
Reginaldus Lee made chief assessor and collector for the counties 
of Shropshire and Stafford; his commission being granted 1275. 
Willus, abbreviated for " Willielmus," we find, by reference to 
the old Feodorum Book, was the son of Warren Lee, who was 
Baron of Wahull : the genealogical table, however, leads us to 
suppose him to be the grandson of Alan Lee, who appears to 
have been a baron of Shropshire at this time. 

We find it added, in the work referred to above, that " Fulco, 
son of Warini," held one knight's fee in Alderfer, Shropshire, 


under Baron T. Corbet* by whose intercession Regi- 

A.D. 1300. . - , , 

naldus Lee succeeds to the possession ol the Lee 

The word " terras," here given, signifies large tracts of arable 
land, or " Terra arabilis," which were granted by the Conqueror 
to his followers, and which were afterwards ceded by the county 
barons to their attendants. 

There being no accompanying date or locality given, we can 
only infer that this estate was situated in Shropshire. 

" Johis de Lee, knight or soldier, to whom Hugo de 
A.D. 1298 ;^jj^^Qj^ grave lands, as per chart, without date. Lived 

to 1302. O 1 

twenty-sixth year of Edward L The father of Thomas 
Lee, thirtieth year of Edward L" 

This is the first entry upon the genealogy with date. We 
find among the parliamentary writs, that a John de Lee, knight 
of Essex, was sent to parliament, a.d. 1307; and also that 
" Johannes, son of William de Lee, or Leye, certified, as per writ 
at Clipston, a.d. 1316, as one of the lords of the township of 
Leigh, and was made Esquire, or man-at-arms, for the county of 

We have here another grant of lands to the family for gallant 
services ; as it states that this member of the family was a "knight," 
or attendant, of Hugo de Hinton, who was probably one of the 
Conqueror's favorites ; and is mentioned in the " Testa de Neville" 
as from Northamptonshire, and holding lands under Buchamstad. 

* See Feodorum Book, p. 45. 


The term " miles," as here appHed, sometimes sisf- 

. A.D. 1302. 

nified a soldier, but more frequently a person of higher 
distinction ; since Kelham says, — 

" Men that held great estates of the earls and barons of Eng- 
land, as five, six, seven, eight or ten knights' fees, were called by 
them their barons ; but were not ' barones-regis,' or parliamentary 
barons : and as the kino^ had, so these earls and barons, their 
dapifers, chamberlains, and other officers in their households."* 

Thomas Lee, whose father, Johis Lee, was given in the pre- 
vious entry, here bequeaths to his eldest son, as was the English 
custom, the patrimonial estate near Pebenhull, a small ancient 
village of Shropshire, now extinct. 

From a portion of the mutilated deeds accompanying the 
pedigree, as well as by reference to the parliamentary writs, 
A.D. 1 3 16, Thomas de Leye, or Lee, is given (as one of the lords 
of Staunton) a church, or glebe, in the county of Shropshire. 
It seems he received a grant of lands to be held in his own right, 
from John Le Fitz William of Tetterton. 

The wife of Thomas Lee is also here given, who was a daugh- 
ter of Thomas Corbet, of the great Shropshire Family of Corbet, 
or Corbett, of Morton-Corbet. 

The first mention of this ancient family is made under the 
" Tenants in Capite," from William the Conqueror. 

Lyson also says, " The manor of Lyton, or Leyton Grange, 
one of those included in this county (Essex), in the estate of 

* See Doomsday Book, p. 273. 


Robert de Corbutis (Corbet), was given by Walter Cor- 

pechum to the Abbot and Convent of Stratford-Lang- 

thorne, and confirmed by Ralph de Arderm about the year 1200." 

A Robert-Fitz-Corbet is also mentioned as under-tenant to 
Earl Roger de Montgomery, in Shropshire, at the time of the 
survey. There are several Thomas Corbcts mentioned in the 
Feodorum Book, one of whom is spoken of as holding a knight's 
fee in Tasseleg, Shropshire, who is probably the one here referred 
to. There was also a Baron T. Corbet of Shropshire. 

The terra " villa " is used for a manor, or lordship, though 
frequently applied to a collection of houses as vil, or village. 

" Res^inaldus Lee, to whom his father g^ives the Lee 
A.D. 1321. . '=' . ^ , 

Villa. Lived fourteenth year of Edward II." 

This entry simply confirms the previous one, by adding the 
year in which the transfer is supposed to have been made. 

"Johis Lee, soldier, son of Reginaldus Lee of the 
^■^ *^ ^^^ House of Roden, fifteenth 3^ear of Edward II., and first 
year Edward III. Married, first, Alicia, thirteenth Ed- 
ward II.; second, Matilda, daughter of Henry Erdington." 

This was the eldest son of Reginaldus Lee, who necessarily 
inherited the Roden Estate. He married twice. His first wife, 


Alicia, who was of the House of Haberly, seems, by 

the old deeds, to have been a widow at the time of her ' ' ^^^ 

to 132s. 

marriage with Johis Lee ; as a marriage-contract was 
made in which Alicia settled most of her property upon her 
three children, — Thomas, Oliver, and Isabella: she died soon 
after, leaving no further issue. Johis Lee married again, a.d. 
1328. His second wife was Matilda Erdington, by whom he had 
two children. 

Johis, or Johannes, Lee, as it was frequently written, is men- 
tioned quite often among the parliamentary writs of Edward II. 
We find him the 5th March, 1316, certifying, as per writ, as one 
of the lords of the township of Birrington (or Biriton), Shropshire 
He was also one of the commissioners of array for the same 
county, 1322 ; and was made knight of the county, and summoned 
to parliament, 14th November, 1322. 

From the same records, we also find Henry Erdington quite 
prominent as a public man, from 1309 to 1324. He was a knight 
of Lancaster; enlisted in 1300 against the Scots, at the head 
of a company ; was one of the assizers and collectors of Warwick, 
and conservator of the peace for the same county, &c. 

" Robert Lee, son of Johis Lee, of the House of Roden, 
eighth year of Richard II. Marries Margaret, daughter 
and heiress of Thomas Astley of Nordley." 

A.D. 1385. 

Under the parliamentary writs, we find that a Robert de la 
Lee was one of the followers of the Earl of Hereford, and was 



pardoned of all offences committed in the " persuit of 
A.D. 1385. ^ , . , 

the dispensers'' in company witn that earl ; but it seems 

this was afterwards revoked, as certain commissioners were ap- 
pointed to pursue and arrest him and others. This occurred 
Aug. 20, 1 32 1, which would render it probable that he died in 
1385, the date above given. 

In the same record, we also find that Thomas de Astley was in 
the same expedition, under Earl Roger de Mortimer of Wigorn, 
and was also pardoned. 

From Burke's " Extinct Baronasfc of Ens^land," we derive the 
following concerning this family: — 

" The Astleys derive their name from the Manor of Astley, or, 
as originally \mx\\X.q.t).,. Eastley, in the County of Warwick, of 
which they were lords as early as Henry I. Sir Thomas Astley, 
knight, was constituted, in the twenty-sixth of Henry HI., one of 
the king's justices for the gaol delivery at Warwick. Sir Thomas 
was one of the leaders amongst the barons who fell in 1264, with 
Montford, Earl of Leicester, and other rebellious lords. 

" The Astleys intermarried with the Corbets, Wrotesleys, and 
Lees. Their seats were afterwards Hill, Morton, and Patshull." 

From Guilliam's " Heraldry," we find it stated that " there have 
been of this family (Astley), successively, barons of parliament 
from Edward L to Henry V., and one Knight of the Garter in 
Henry VL" 

The Astley arms, it will be observed, are blended with those 
of Lee ; and the Nordley Estate descended to the posterity of 
Robert Lee. 


Johannes Lee, the youngest son of Robert Lee, inher- 
its Nordley. He, too, evidently marries into a distin- ^'^' '^°°' 
guished family, as his issue forms another branch of the family, 
in which the large estate of Nordley descended many generations. 
The Packingtons, though not previously mentioned, are a well- 
established family, many of the name being still found through- 
out Enofland. 


" Rogerus Lee, son and heir, first lord of Langley. Marries 
Johanna, daughter and heiress of Edward Burnell." 

Being the eldest son of Robert Lee, he succeeds to most of 
the property on the paternal side, and his issue forms the direct 
line, or first branch, of the family. He also marries an heiress, 
by whom he obtains the Langley Estate, situated in Shropshire. 

Edward Burnell is mentioned in the parliamentary writs of 
Edward H. as the son and heir of Philip Burnell, who was sum- 
moned to parliament as a baron in 1316, and held lands in 
fourteen counties. 

" Robert Lee of Langley, in the county of Shropshire. 

Marries Petronilla , as appears per chart dated ^•^- '\'° 

eleventh year of Henry IV., and another seventeenth 

of Henry VI., and also another dated twentieth of Henry VI. 

Continuing with the main stem through the issue of Rocrer 


Lee, his eldest son here marries a lady of much fortune, 
if we judge from the number of charts or grants re- 
ferred to. 

The omission of the family name, as in this case, is frequently 
met with in such records ; and it was not considered entirely 

" Radolphus Lee, living twenty-fifth year of Henry 
■ ^"^"^ VL, and eis^hteenth of Edward IV., died nineteenth of 

to 1491. ' * 

Edward IV. Married Isabella, who was a widow, and 
daughter of Jacob Ridley, twentieth year of Edward IV." 

This record appears more explicit than any heretofore given. 
Supposing Radolphus was born twenty-fifth Henry VI. (1447), he 
was about forty-three years of age at his decease. 

From the old deeds, we find that his wife inherited property 
situated in the villages of Haxalls, Acton, Burnell, and Buryton, 
in Shropshire 

" Richard Lee of Langley, in the county of Shropshire, a.d. 
1 49 1, twentieth year of Edward IV. Married Margaret, daughter 
and co-heir of Fulco Sprenchose, knight." 

Here we observe the first omission of de, or le. Richard Lee, 
the only child of Radolphus, succeeds to the whole estate, and 
married, as it is further stated in the deeds, the widow of Johis 


Wimsbly, through whom Richard acquired a large estate 
in Dotinton. 

This Richard Lee is doubtless the " Richard " referred to in 
our introductory article as enlisting against the Scots. 

A.D. i486 

From Richard Lee we have seven children, — five sons 
and two dauditers. 

^ lu 1 54U. 

The issue of three of the sons, Thomas, Rodolphus, 
and Johannes, is not given. The second son, Richard, married a 
daughter of Macocks, and lived during the reign of Henry VII.: 
he left one child, a daughter, who succeeded to his property, and 
married Thomas Kinaston, of Cotton, in the county of Shrop- 

This Richard Lee, as appears from ancient record, was the 
king s surveyor, since we find a letter written to " Richard Lee, 
Esq., surveyor of the king's workes at Guisnes, declaring the kings 
Highness' pleasure touching the conveyance of water through 
the town of St. Peter's, and the opening of a drain," &c. ; also 
" at Windsor, 1540, an order was sent to Richard Lee, surveyor 
of Calais, to answer charades as^ainst him, and to use himself 
towards the king's ofiicers as his duty doth appertain." * 

Fulco Lee, the eldest son and heir of Langley, married twice ; 
first, Alicia, daughter of Henry Cornwall of Birington, in the 
county of Hereford, of which family, Burke, in his " Landed 
Gentry of England," says, " The Cornwalls are descended from 
Richard de Cornwall, who had the manor of Thunneck, in Lin- 

* See Privv Council, vol. vii. 


colnshire, from Edward, Earl of Cornwall, eighth of 
' ^^^°' Edward I., 1280. He was ancestor of the Cornwalls, 
barons of Burford, the senior line of which family is now repre- 
sented by the heir, Gen. George Cornwall Leigh, Esq., of High- 
Leigh, Cheshire." By his second wife, Richard Lee had one 
daughter, who married. He is mentioned among the records of 
the privy council of Henry VHI. as one of the witnesses in a suit 
of Chandler against Wrotesley for possession of the Lee Manor. 
Chandler, it seems, made a false accusation, and was made to 
apologize to Sir Thomas Wrotesley. 

Margeria, the eldest daughter of Richard Lee, married Thomas 
Vernon, second son of Sir Henry Vernon of Hodnet, Shropshire, 
second Earl of Shrewsbury, and who was a descendant of Richard 
Vernon, a follower of William the Conqueror. By this marriage, 
there was but one child, a daughter ; and the line became extinct 
in 1600. Lord George Venable Vernon was made a peer in 
1762, and married his second wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas 
Lee of Hartwell, Buckingham, who died Sept. 22, 1742. 

Thomas Lee, Esq., of Langley, is the only son of 
A.D 1574 p^j^Q Lgg 1^ j^-g ^j-g^ wife. FallinQT heir to an im- 

to 1600. ■'■ ^ 

mense estate, he married into the distinguished family 
of Corbet, forming the second alliance between the two families. 
This Robert Corbet, the father of Jana, of Morton-Corbet, Shrop- 
shire, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Vernon. Robert 
Corbet also had another daughter Elizabeth, who married Sir 
Henry Wallop, Earl of Portsmouth.* 

* See Peerage of England. 


By the union of Thomas Lee and Jane, there were 
ten children, — three sons and seven dauditers. ' ' l^"^^ 

' * to 1600. 

All the daughters married, one of whom was united 
to another of the Corbet Family, of whom Burke mentions, — 

" Sir Edward Corbet of Longnor and of Leighton, knight, was 
created a baronet in 1642. The senior branch of the family 
expired in 1774, with Sir Richard Corbet, baronet, whereupon the 
title descended upon Charles Corbet of London, great grandson of 
Thomas, the second son of the first baronet. Edward Corbet 
of Longnor Hall, Shropshire, J. P. and D. L., lieutenant -colonel 
of Shropshire Militia, 181 7, is a descendant of this branch."* 

The eldest daughter, Jocosa, marries Robert Morton of Hough- 
ton, who was a widower at the time, as a dauo^hter of his marries 
Thomas Lee of Nordley. Maria, the fourth daughter, marries 
Edward Plowden, of which family Burke speaks : — 

" The Family Plowden have been seated at Plowden, in Shrop- 
shire, from a period anterior the earliest records extant in the 
vicinity. " Roger Plowden, of Plowden, who was a Crusader under 
Richard Coeur de Lion, is stated to have been present at the 
siege of Acre, in 11 94, and to have received for his gallant ser- 
vices the augmentation of the ' Fkzcrs-dc-Lys,' borne ever since 
by his descendants. From him descended Edward Plowden, who 
married Mary, daughter of Thomas Lee of Langley, in Shrop- 
shire, and had a son Humphry."! 

Richard Lee, eldest son and heir, married a dauo^hter of Walter 
Wrotesley, of Wrotesley, of which family we gather an interesting 
account: — 

"About the period of the Norman Conquest, the manor of 
Wrotesley, in Stafford, from which this family derives its name, 

« See Burke's Landed Gentry of England. t Burke's Commoners. 


was in possession of the monks of Evesham ; and it so 
continued until the reign of Henry II., when the holy 
fathers exchanged it for Moreton and other lands. 

"Sir Hugh de Wrotesley attended Edward III. at the siege of 
Calais, and had a license from that monarch in the same year 
(twenty-third) to make a park at Wrotesley. Sir Hugh was sub- 
sequently very famous, and was amongst the first Knights of the 
Garter upon the institution of that order. From him descended 
Sir Walter Wrotesley, of Wrotesley, who was created a baronet 
in 1642. This gentleman distinguished himself by zealous attach- 
ment to the royal cause during the civil wars, and converted his 
mansion into a garrison for the king. Sir Walter married a 
daughter of John Grey, Esq., of Enville, Stafford, by whom he 
had three sons and four dau2:hters."* 

The second daughter of Sir Walter married Sir John Talbot, 
son of Sir Gilbert Talbot, and grandson of John, second Earl of 
Shrewsbury. From this marriage is descended the Hon. WiUiam 
Talbot, Earl of Talbot, 1761. 

This Richard Lee is frequently mentioned among the records 
of Oueen Elizabeth's reiarn as Clarencieux-at-arins. or heraldic 
officer to the crown. From the Lansdowne collection of manu- 
scripts, we find him writing to Lord Burleigh, under date of June 
24, 1594, stating his reasons "why he used a hearse at the funeral 
of a knight bachelor." We gather also from the " Cottonian " 
collection of the same period, that Richard Lee was sent to the 
Emperor of Russia about the year 1600; and we further find 
among the Harleian collection a " Visitation " of Oxford, as 
made by " Richard Lee of Portcullis, pursuivant, and afterwards 
Windsor herald, and lastly Clarencieux-at-arms, a.d. 1574." 

* Burke's Peerage and Baronage. 


The arms of the city of Oxford, consistina: of the 

A.D. 1600. 

helm, crest, and supporters, were granted at this time by 
Mr. Lee. The " visitations " of Mr. Lee, as pubHshed by himself 
in 1584, were reprinted in 1661, and are now to be found in the 
British Museum. In this work may be found the " Atchevient " 
of Vernon of Hadnot (these Vernons having " supporters " by 
ancient usage) ; also the arms of the Shropshire nobility and 
gentry. Richard Lee, it seems, was also created Richmond 
herald and marshal to Robert Cook, who was Clarencieux 
A.D. 1564. 

Among the chancery proceedings of the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, we find an interesting suit between this Richard Lee and 
his brother Jerome, for an annuity bequeathed the latter by 
Thomas Lee, their father, issuing out of the Manor of Dotinton, 
Shropshire, as claimed under the will ; from which fact we may 
infer that Thomas Lee died some time during the reign of that 

We have from Richard and Eleanor Lee another 

A.D. 1620. 

large family, four sons and six daughters. All the 
daughters were married ; but the marriage of only one son is 
given, — that of Humfry Lee, the eldest, who was created a 
baron 3 May, 1620. 

From Burke's " Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England " 
we gather much concerning Sir Humfry and his family: — 

" Humfry Lee, Esq., of Langley, and Acton Burnel in Shrop- 
shire, son of Richard Lee, Esq., of Langley, by Eleanor his wife, 



daughter of Walter Wrotesley, Esq., of Wrotesley, was 
fourth in descent from Richard Lee, Esq., sheriff of the 
county in 1479, and representative of one of the oldest families 
in England. In 1620 he was created a baronet, being the first 
Shropshire gentleman who received that honor. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Richard Corbet, Esq., of Stoke, one of the 
judges of the Court of King's Bench, and had issue. 

" Sir Humfry was succeeded by his son, Sir Richard Lee of 
Langley, and Acton Burnel, M. P. • for Shropshire, who suffered 
much in the royal cause, and had to compound his estate in the 
sum of ^3,719. 

" He married Elizabeth, dauorhter of Sir Edward 

A.D. 1660. ... 

Allen, knight and alderman of London ; and left at his 
decease, in April, 1660, issue to survive him, — two daughters, his 
co-heirs ; viz., Rachel, married to Richard Cleaton, Esq., second 
son of Ralph Cleaton, of Otely, in Shropshire. She obtained for 
her inheritance Lea Hall, and the other estates of her ancestors 
in that neighborhood, and transmitted them to her descendants 
in the third generation. Richard Cleaton had two daughters : 
I. Alathea, married to Watkins Williams Wynne, Esq., of Voclas, 
in Denbighshire, whose daughters married — the one, the Hon. 
Charles Finch ; the other, Thomas Asheton Smythe, or Smith, 
Esq., of Tedworth, Hants. Lea Hall and other estates were sold 
to Sir Thomas Tywhitt Jones, baronet. 2. Mary, married Edward 
Smythe, Esq., who was created a baronet, and ancestor of the 
present Sir Edward Smythe, baronet, of Acton Burnell and 

"At the death of Sir Richard Lee, the baronetcy became 

" A branch of this ancient family, that of Cotton Hall, in Shrop- 


shire, which separated at a very early period from the 

^ . , A-D. 1660. 

parent stock, still preserves a male succession."* 

Of the Corbet Family, in which Sir Humfry married (being 
the fourth connection between the two families), we have already 
given a sketch. 

Re2:inald Corbet is probably son of Robert Corbet of 

* ^ ■> _ A.D. 1620. 

Moreton, in which case Margareta is cousin to Sir 

Among the chancery proceedings of Queen Elizabeth's reign, 
we find many suits in which Sir Humfry is a party, a few of 
which we give as being interesting, and enabling us to establish 
more fully our genealogical statements. 

In a suit of Edward Bacon for possession of "the Brompton 
Mannor, the late estate of Alicia, widdow of Reginald Corbet, 
Esq., deceased," the names of Alicia Corbet, Richard Corbet, 
Humfry Lee and wife, Roger Lee, Jerome Corbet, and many 
others, are given as parties interested. 

We find Sir Humphry Lee as "defendant in a suit of Thomas 
Corbet for a fraud in a deed of property in Munden, Shropshire, 
late estate of Thomas Colfax." 

Again, we find him as defendant in a suit of Richard Lyster, 
"for relief of extent concerning property in Broughton, Shrop- 
shire, the late estate of his father, Richard Lyster." 

We have recorded the marriage of a sister of Sir Humfry Lee 
with Miclirs Lyster, doubtless son of the said Richard, in whose 
behalf Sir Humfry is enlisted. We find among the same 
"proceedings" a suit, which Henry Vannor, who married the 
fourth daughter of Sir Richard Lee, sustains against Thomas 

* Burke's Commoners. 


Owen, Edward Horton, Richard Parker, Ann Vannor, 
A.D. 1620. . . ' . . 

widow, and Luke and Gabriel Gunn, " for relief against 

cancelled bonds given by the plaintiff's father for performance of 


It seems the plaintiff's father, Henry Vannor, being seized of 
lands, &c., in Condover, called Houghton-Fields, Shropshire, sold 
the same to defendants, Horton, Audly, and Parker: Parker, 
however, sells his third part to Richard Lee, the plaintiff's father- 
in-law, who again conveys the same to plaintiff's father, Henry 
Vannor, which third part he claims by descent. The defendant, 
Parker, at the same time released the plaintiff's father from a 
bond of two thousand pounds, given him and others with the said 
bargain and sale ; which release the plaintiff states to be still in 
defendant's hands, and prays recovery and relief from suits on 
said bond, and also for the inheritance of the said third part* 

The suit appears long and complicated, but interesting, in 
regard to the parties connected with the old genealogy. 

From the Harleian collection of manuscripts, an original 
letter is referred to, from Humfry Lee to Mr. Joe Orenge, dated 
Lee, 15th April, 1594, "concerning his being left out of the new 
peace commission sent down for the county of Shropshire ; " and 
from the same' work, a notice of the Lees of Langley and Cotton, 
the originals of which are preserved in the British Museum. 

Of the daughters of Sir Humphry Lee, Margaret married Sir 
Francis Kynaston, Knight of Otely, in Shropshire. 

The remainder were doubtless under aoe at the time 

A.D. 1663. _ _ ^ 

the old genealogy closes, which it here does for the first 
branch, after adding the arms of the Lees of Langley, which will 
be noticed presently. 

* Chancery Proceedings in Privy Council of Queen Elizabeth. 


Of the sixth daughter of Sir Richard Lee, Katharine, 
who married Johis Heyward, we have some account in 
Burke's " Commoners : " — 

" The family of Hereford, or Heyward, is of great antiquity, 
deriving its name, according to old manuscripts, from a city in 
Wales, the residence of the ancient earls of Hereford. They 
moved, during the reign of Edward I., to England, and to the 
county of Herefordshire. From Roger Hereford, the founder, 
time of Henry II., 1170, sprang the numerous family. John 
Hereford, of Lofton, was born 8th September, 1558. Wedded, first, 
in 1578, Catherine, daughter of Richard Lee of Langley, and had a 
son Richard, his heir; second, to Elizabeth, daughter to Humfry 
Archer, Esq., of Tamworth, Warwickshire, who died 1641, leaving 
a large family." 

Johis Lee of Nordley, in the county of Shropshire, 
rried I 

Married Elizabeth, dausfhter and heiress of Thomas 

W^c have already stated that Roger Lee succeeded to the 
Roden Estate by inheritance, and also acquired the Langley Estate 
by marriage. We here find Johis Lee possesses Nordley, which 
his father acquired through the Astleys. 

The Corbyne, or, as it has since become, Corbin Famil}^ is one 
of the most ancient and noble of EnHand. Hufro de Corbin, the 
founder, is spoken of as holding lands previous to the Doomsday 
survey, and probably came over with the Conqueror. The family 
still bear nearly the same name, and are scattered throughout 


A.D. 1540. 

England and this country. As will be seen hereafter, 
the two families intermarried several times. 

A.D. 1574 
to 1600. 

" Thomas Lee of Nordley, in county of Shropshire. 
Married Johanna, daughter of Robert Morton of Hough- 
ton, Shropshire." 

We have already referred to this marriage in speaking of 
Thomas Lee of Langley (see 15). Robert Morton evidently was 
twice married, Johanna being his daughter by his first wife : he 
afterwards married Jocosa, eldest daughter of Thomas Lee of 

Thomas Lee of Nordley leaves but three children, — Thomas, 
Humphry, and Anna. Thomas married an heiress, and left one 
son, Francis, who is mentioned in the Lansdowne manuscripts 
as petitioning the council to encourage his art of making gun- 
powder, rather than buy abroad; and also proposes, in 1588, to 
make saltpetre at ninepence per pound. 

He probably died unmarried, leaving this branch extinct. 

Humphry Lee, the eldest son and heir, marries, and his issue 
forms a continuation of the second branch. 

" Humfry Lee of Cotton, Shropshire. Married Kath- 

A.D. 1600. . -^ ' r 

erine, daughter of Johannes Blount of Yeo." 
Cotton, the residence of Humphry Lee, which has but once 


been previously mentioned, is situated in Nordley, or, as 
it was usually called, the King s-Nordley. Ncrdley is 
called after one of the French towns or provinces, and comprised 
one of those large tracts of land reserved by the king, under the 
term " Terra Regis : " hence these tracts bore the prefix of king, 
as King's-Langley, King's-Swinford, and King's-Nordley. 

Most of the property of the Lees was situated in this district. 
This branch of the family was heretofore known by the district ; 
but later, and as the laterals spread, the family-seat of Cotton is 
added, to more minutely designate them. Cotton was situated 
near Bridnorth, on the road leading to Shrewsbury, the county- 
town, and probably formed a village. As has been stated, Cotton 
has passed out of the Lee Family. 

Of the family of Blount, in which Humfry Lee married, Burke 
says, — 

" The surname of this family was originally Le Blount ; and Sir 
Alexander Cook says he is now the representative of the senior 
branch of that ancient house, which had its origin from the 
Blondi, or Brondi, of Italy. 

" Its patriarchs, the counts of Guisnes, claimed alliance with 
most of the royal families of Europe, and counted among their 
progenitors the emperors and kings of France, the kings of Den- 
mark, and dukes of Bavaria. The family is now know^n under 
the name of Croke." 

"Johannes Lee of Cotton in King's-Nordley, in county of 

" Married the daughter of Johis Romney, who married a daugh- 
ter of John Brington of Stoke." 


Here is given the mother of Jocosa, who, we presume, 
is of a distinguished family. By this marriage we have 
eight children, all sons, the issue of but one of which is given, 
though we presume the others married. 

Here we have the family residence more minutely located. 

From the Cottonian manuscripts we find a Thomas Lee, Chief 
Justice of Ireland in 1608. Also a Dr. Edward Lee, Arch- 
bishop of York A.D. 1525, and Gilbert Lee, 1588; which renders 
it probable they were of this branch of the family. Thomas Lee 
left nine children, only two of whom were sons. 

Launcelot Lee of Cotton, eldest son and heir of 
A.D. 1663. . n ■' 

Thomas Lee, is noticed briefly m an interesting article 

upon the Lee Family, as found in Bishop Meade's " Old Churches 

of Virginia." He was doubtless living at the time the genealogy 

was completed, as his age is given ; and we may presume he was 

instrumental in its formation. 

Launcelot Lee wa:. twice married, both wives being from the 
county of Stafford. By his first wife he left three sons, John, 
Thomas, and Richard ; the issue of Thomas alone being given. 
He was forty-three years of age at the close of the record ; which 
would place the marriage of his father about a.d. 1620. 

The father-in-law of Launcelot Lee, Thomas Clemson, is men- 
tioned among the parliamentary writs of that time as having been 
twice married, his second wife being Joyce Cassandra. 


By his second wife, a daughter of Henry Gough, 
Launcelot Lee left seven children, three sons and four 
daughters: of the latter, only two married. From Burke's "British 
Commoners" we have an interesting account of this Henry Gough, 
who, it appears, was a man of much distinction. 

"Gough — a most ancient family, and its members highly dis- 
tinguished, reaching from time of Henry I. It founded the noble 
house of Calthorpc. The Goughs derive their name from John 
Gech, or Gough, of the principality, living in time of Henry IV. 

" Her.ry Gough, father of Elizabeth, purchased the lordship and 
seat of Old-Fallings in Staffordshire, and was amongst the most 
zealous adherents of Charles I., devotino^ himself, heart and for- 
tune, to the service of that ill-fated prince. 

" His Majesty, during his troubles, stopped at Wolverhampton, 
where he was entertained by Madam St. Andrew, a near con- 
nection of Mr. Gough ; and that gentleman himself ventured to 
accommodate their royal Highnesses, Charles, Prince of Wales, 
and James, Duke of York. An ancient tenement still remains at 
Wolverhampton, which is part of the house wherein these princely 
guests resided. 

" A subscription being set afoot to aid the exigencies of the 
royal cause, the inhabitants cheerfully contributed according to 
their ability : but the most ample supply was expected from Mr. 
Gough, whose loyalty was as prominent as his fortune was supe- 
rior; when, to the great surprise and disappointment of every 
one, he refused any assistance, though strongly urged by the 
king's commissioners, who returned in disgust and chagrin. 
When night approached, putting on his hat and cloak, Mr. Gough 
went secretly, and solicited a private audience of his Majesty. 


This appearing an extraordinary request, the dangerous 

A.D. 1663. . ... . ^ , , , , . "^ . . 

Circumstances of the times considered, the lord-in-waiting 
wished to know the object of the request, with an offer to com- 
municate it to the king. Mr. Gough persisting, however, to 
decline this medium of communication, after much interrogation 
obtained admission to the royal presence. He then drew from his 
cloak a purse containing a large sum of money,* and, presenting 
it with due respect, said, — 

" ' May it please your Majesty to accept this : it is all the cash 
I have about me, or I would have brought more.' The gift was 
so acceptable to the king, that an offer of knighthood was made 
to Mr. Gough ; but this loyal subject, having no other view than 
to serve his sovereign, declined the honor, which was afterwards 
conferred upon his grandson, Henry of Perry Hall, when he was 
introduced into the court of Charles H., and had mention made 
of the ' loyalty of his ancestors.' " 

Henry Gough died in 1655. 

It will be seen that John Lee, eldest son by the first wife of 
Launcelot Lee, died unmarried ; hence the property falls to 
Thomas Lee, second son, who had four children, all of whom 
were under age at the close of the genealogy. 

Here the old document ends, after adding another coat-of-arms 

* Family tradition says twelve hundred pounds. The Goughs were so affluent, that the 
country people used to say of this gentleman or his father, — 

Here's old Justice Gough, 
Who has money enough." 




for this branch; but we are enabled to continue the 

A.D. 1663. 

record to the present time, through Richard Lee, third 
son of Launcelot Lee by his first wife, who emigrated to America 
about the year 1641, and whose posterity are now widely scattered 
over our Southern land. 

This Richard Lee is the pioneer of the family in America. 
He was married twice, as we learn from his will, which is sub- 
joined. The second marriage took place about the year 

We give an extract from a letter of William Lee, Esq., of 
Tower Hill, London (son of the celebrated President Thomas 
Lee, whose history we give hereafter), concerning this Richard 
Lee. The letter is dated 1771. 

" Richard Lee, of good family in Shropshire, and whose picture, 
I am told, is now at Cotton, near Bridgworth, the seat of Laun- 
celot Lee, Esq., some time in the reign of Charles L, went over 
to the colony of Virginia as secretary, and one of the king's privy 
council, which last part will, for shortness, be called 'of the 
council.' He was a man of good stature, comely visage, enter- 
prising genius, a sound head, vigorous spirit, and generous nature. 
When he got to Virginia, which at that time was not much culti- 
vated, he was so well pleased with the country that he made large 
settlements there with the servants he carried over. After some 
years, he returned to England, and gave all the lands he had 
taken up and settled at his expense, to those servants he had 
fixed on them, some of whose descendants are now possessed of 
very considerable estates in that colony. After staying some 
time in England, he returned to Virginia with a fresh band of 
adventurers." . . . 

The remainder of the article is somewhat similar to the one 


already referred to in our Introduction, from which we 

A.D. 1663. ■' • -n- 1 1 T 

now quote concerning Richard Lee : — 
" Richard Lee, one of the younger branches of the House of 
Litchfield, emigrated to America early in the year 1641. He and 
Sir William Berkeley kept the colony to its allegiance during the 
civil war between Charles L and Cromwell. While Charles IL 
was at Breda, Richard Lee went over and had a private con- 
ference with him in regard to the colony. On his return, he 
and Berkeley succeeded in having Charles H. proclaimed king 
of England, France, Scotland, Ireland, and Virginia.^ In grati- 
tude for this loyalty, on the Restoration, Charles ordered the 
arms of Virginia to be added to those of England, France, 
Scotland, and Ireland, with the motto, 'En dat Virginia quin- 


Mr. Charles Campbell, in his highly interesting " Hislory of 
Virginia," thus notices Richard Lee : — 

" Richard Lee, first of the family in Virginia, great grandfather 
of Richard Henry Lee, a cavalier, emigrated from Engiand to 
Virginia during the civil commotions, in the time of Charles I., 
and, making several voyages to the mother-country, brought over 
with him a number of followers, each of whom received a portion 
of land, under the title of ' head-rights.' He probably sett'ed first 

* This circumstance has been questioned by some historians. 

t In confirmation of this fact, the editor of this work has in his possession a ccpper coin, 
which was ploughed up on his farm, in Albemarle County, Va., of the following descrip- 
tion : On one side a head, with the words, " Geoi-ghis III. Rex;" on the othei, a shield, 
surmounted by a crown, upon which are quartered the arms of England, Scotland, Ireland, and 
Virginia, the whole encircled with the word, "Virginia, iTTi" We thus learn the origin of 
the term Old Do77iiiiion, which has since been applied to the State of Virginia. There iS one 
other similar coin now existing, which is in possession of the Massachusetts Historical 


in York, for he appears a burgess of that county, a.d. 

A.D. 1663. 

1647 (i Henning Stat, at Large, p. 339)." 

The will of Richard Lee is also found in the same work, as 
furnished by Mrs. Susan H. Thornton, one of his descendants. 
This will is dated 1663, just previous to his last voyage to Vir- 
ginia. The following is an extract from it : — 

" I, Col. Richard Lee, of Virginia, and lately of Strafford- Lang- 
ton in the county of Essex, Esq., being bound out upon a voyage 
to Virginia aforesaid, and not knowing how it may please God to 
dispose of me in so long a voyage, — First, I give and bequeath 
my soul to that good and gracious God that gave it me, and to 
my blessed Redeemer, Jesus Christ, assuredly trusting in and by 
his meritorious death and passion to receive salvation, and my 
body to be disposed of, whether by sea or land, according to the 
opportunity of the place, not doubting but at the last day both 
body and soul shall be united and glorified. Also my will and 
earnest desire is, that my good friends (Thomas Griffin and John 
Locky, merchants in England) will, with all convenient speed, 
cause my wife and children — all except Francis, if he be 
pleased — to be transported to Virginia, and to provide all neces- 
sary for the voyage. . . . To my wife, during her life, I give the 
plantation (Stratford) whereon I now reside, ten English servants, 
five negroes, three men and two women, twenty sows, and corn 
proportionable to the servants. The said negroes I give to her 
during her widowhood, and no longer, and then presently to 
return to those of the five youngest children : also the plantation 
Mock-Neck. Item, — my will and earnest desire is, that my 
household stuff at Stratford be divided into three parts, two of 
which I give to my son John, and bind him to give to every one 
of his brothers a bed, and the other third I give to my wife, Anna 


Lee. Item, — I sfive all my plate to my three eldest 

A.D. 1663. , . . r 1 1 , 

sons or the survivor or survivors 01 them, each to have 
his part delivered to him when he comes to the age of eighteen 
years. Item, — I give to my son John and his heirs forever, when 
he comes to the age of eighteen years, all my land and planta- 
tion at Matholick, all the stock of cattle and hogs thereupon, 
also ten negroes ; viz., five men and five women, and ten English 
servants for their times, &c." He likewise bequeaths his planta- 
tion Paradise, and the servants there, &c., to Richard. The 
Paper-Makers '-Neck and War-Captains'-Neck, with five negroes 
and ten English servants, to Francis. To his five younger chil- 
dren, William, Hancock, Betsy, Ann, and Charles, the testator 
bequeaths a plantation including Bishop's-Neck, four thousand 
acres of land on the Potomac, and the remainder of two planta- 
tions, after the death of his wife, together with the residue of his 
estate, real and personal. To his eldest son, John, he bequeaths 
"three islands lying in the Bay of Chesapeake, the great bed 
that I brought over the last year in ' The Duke of York,' and the 
furniture thereto belonging." To William, he bequeaths his lands 
on the Maryland side: "also my will is, that goods sufficient be 
set apart for the maintenance of the gangs of each plantation for 
the space of two years, and all the rest of the goods to be sold to 
the best advantage, and the tobacco' shipt home to Mr. Lockey 
and Mr. Griffith, &c." To Francis, he gives his interest, " being 
one-eighth part in the ship ' Elizabeth and Mary,' and the ship 
'Susan.'" The will provides for a fund "for the better education 
of John and Richard equally, to assist, the one in his travel for the 
attainment of a reasonable perfection in the knowledge of physick ; 
the other at the University or the Inns of Court, which he shall 
be most fit for." 


From these several extracts, we have much variance 
as to time and locality. From the first, we infer that 
this Richard Lee is fi-om Cotton, the residence of his father, 
Launcelot Lee : the second article speaks of him as of the 
" House of Litchfield," of which we have no mention in our table. 
In the will, however, he speaks of himself as " lately of Strafford 
Langton, in the county of Essex." We also gather from the 
tombstone of his son, Richard Lee of Ditchly, Westmoreland 
County, that he is " descended of an ancient family of Merton- 
Regis, Shropshire." The old genealogical statement is at vari- 
ance with each of these accounts, placing him from Southwark, a 
small village situated on the Thames, and tributary to London, 
being called a " borough " by way of distinction. 

This latter was doubtless his residence during the lifetime of 
his first wife, Elizabeth Langdon, after whose death, and upon his 
second marriage, he removed to Essex, from whence he emigrated 
to Virginia as above stated. That the first Richard Lee of Vir- 
ginia was of the House of " Cotton," Shropshire, and a descendant 
of the branch here recorded, there can be no doubt ; and that 
Richard Lee of Southwark is that person we have every reason 
to believe, as he is the only descendant of that name given during 
that period. This Richard Lee left a family of eight children, six 
sons and two daughters, all of whom were under age at the 
writing of the above will. His son Richard inherited the home- 
stead at Westmoreland, and from him we cpntinue to trace the 


Richard Lee, second son of the first Richard, was 
A.D. 1646 1^ . y[^o-\m2L, 1646. He was sent to England with 

to 1714. & ' T^ o 

his brother to 'complete his education. He graduated 
with distinction in law, and, returning to his native State, took an 
active part in its legislative councils. 

He married the eldest daughter of Henry Corbin. (This 
was the father of Col. Thomas Lee, who was the father of 
Richard Henry Lee, &c.) He settled upon his large estate in 
Westmoreland County, where he built the old family-seat, 
Ditchly, the ruins of which are still to be seen. 

His father-in-law, Henry Corbin, in the year 1650, came to 
America, and settled in the parish of Stratton-Major, King and 
Queen County. 

The tombstones of Richard and Letitia Lee are still to be 
seen in the Burnt House Fields, at Mount-Pleasant, Westmore- 
land County, Va. 

" Hie conditur corpus Ricardi Lee armigeri nati in Virginia 
fili Ricardi Lee, gcnerosi, et antiqua familia in Merton-Regis in 
comitatu Salopsiensi oriundi. In magistratum obeundo boni pub- 
lici studiosissimi, in literis Grscis et Latinis et aliis humanioris 
literature disciplinis versatissimi. 

" Deo quem summa observantia semper coluit animam tran- 
quillus reddidit xii mo. die Martii anno " MDCCXIV. ; astat 

" Hie Juxta situm est corpus Lsetitia ejusdem uxoris fidae, 
filicE Henrici Corbyne, Generosi, liberorum matris amantissimas, 
pietate erga Deum charitate, erga egenos, benignitate erga omnes 
insignis. Obiit Octob, dii vi. MDCCVL statis XLIX." 



" Here lieth the body of Richard Lee, Esq., born in 
Virginia, son of Richard Lee, gentleman, descended of 
an ancient family of Merton-Regis in Shropshire. While he 
exercised the office of a magistrate, he was a zealous promoter 
of the public good. He was very skilful in Greek and Latin 
languages, and other parts of polite learning. 

" He quietly resigned his soul to God, whom he always devoutly 
worshipped, on the 12th day of March, in the year 1714, in the 
sixty-eighth year of his age. 

" Near by is interred the body of Lettuce, his faithful wife, 
daughter of Henry Corbin, gentleman. A most affectionate 
mother, she was also distinguished by piety toward God, charity 
to the poor, and kindness to all. She died on the 6th October, 
1706, in the forty-ninth year of her age." 

Richard Lee left five sons, — Richard, Philip, Francis, Thomas, 
and Henry. Richard Lee, the eldest, married Miss Silk of Lon- 
don, who left three children, one of whom married another of the 
Corbin Family. Thomas Lee (of whom we will presently speak 
more fully) married Miss Ludwell ; and Henry Lee, fifth son 
(great grandfather of Gen. Robert E. Lee), married Miss Bland. 

From contemporary records we gather further particulars of 
this Richard Lee, furnished chiefly by William Lee of London. 

"... Richard Lee (second son of the first Richard) spent 
almost his whole life in study, and usually wrote his notes in 
Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, many of which are now in Virginia; so 
that he neither improved nor diminished his paternal estate, 
though, at that time, he might with ease have acquired what would, 
at this day, produce a princely revenue. He was of the council 
of Virginia, and also in other offices of honor and profit, though 


they yielded little to him. He married Miss Corbin, 

A.D. 1714. . . 

and left behind him five sons — Richard, Philip, Francis, 
Thomas, and Henry — and one daughter. 

" Richard settled in London as a Virginia merchant, in 
partnership with one Thomas Corbin, a brother of his 
mother. He married an heiress in England, of the name 
of Silk; and left one son, George, and two daughters, Lettuce 
and Martha. These three children went to Virginia and settled. 
George married a Wormley there, who died, leaving one 
daughter ; then he married a Fairfax, nearly related to Lord 
Fairfax of Yorkshire, and died, leaving, by his last marriage, three 

sons, who are now minors, and are at school in Eno^land, 

A.D. 1 77-. & ' 

under the care of Mr. James Russel. Lettuce married 

a Corbin, and her sister married a Turbiville : their eldest children 

intermarried, from which union Geors^e Lee Turbiville, 

A.D. 1744. . , . 

now at school at Winton College, is the eldest issue." 
Philip, the second son, went to Maryland early in 1700, and 
settled; and is the head of the Maryland branch of the Lee 
Family, of which we give a full account at page 1 1 3. 

" Francis, the third son, died a bachelor. Thomas, 

A.D. 1777. 

the fourth son, though with none but a common Vir- 
ginia education, yet having strong natural parts, learned the 
languages without any assistance but his own genius, and became 
a tolerable adept in the Greek and Latin. . . . This Thomas Lee, 
by his industry and parts, acquired a considerable fortune ; for 
being the younger brother, with many children, his paternal estate 
was very small. He was also appointed of the council; and, 
though he had few acquaintances in England, he was so well 
known by his reputation, that, upon his receiving a loss by fire, 
the late Queen Caroline sent him over a bountiful supply from 


l-ij-cliHiiiiiim. Se Coru'jj.iJTy. 



A.D. 177- 

her privy purse. Upon the late Sir William Gooche 
being recalled, who had been some time governor of 
Virginia, he became president of the council and commander-in- 
chief of the colony, in which station he continued for some 
time, until the king thought proper to appoint him governor of 
the colony; but he died before his commission got to him. He 
left by his marriage six sons — Philip Ludwell, Thomas Ludwell, 
Richard Henry, Francis Lightfoot, William, and Arthur — and 
two daughters, all well provided for in point of fortune." 

The Hon. Thomas Lee, fourth son of Richard Lee, is 
given us in history as one of the most prominent men ^^ j^g^"^ 
of the early times of Virginia. Of the exact date of his 
birth and early life we have no record. The earliest mention of 
him is from the article just quoted; and we also find him spoken 
of in the article referred to in our Introduction, as " the first 
native governor of Virginia under the English government; and 
so popular was he in England, that, having suffered a severe loss 
by fire. Queen Caroline sent him a large sum of money from her 
privy purse, with an autograph letter. The fine mansion of Strat- 
ford was built for Thomas Lee, by the East India Company." 

Thomas Lee married Hanna Ludwell, daughter of Col. Philip 
Ludwell, of Green-Springs, president of the council : she was 
grand-daughter of old Philip Ludwell, the first of the family in 

Stratford Hall, the residence of President Lee, has been ren- 
dered famous, not only from the circumstances under which it 


was built, but as the srreat centre of srenial old Virsfinia 
A.D. 1756. . , ^ * ^ 

hospitality. Here was the headquarters of the fashion, 

genius, and nobility of the Old Dominion ; and its extensive 

halls and massive corridors not only resounded to the strains of 

martial music and the festive dance, but also to the powerful voice 

of genius, as it eloquently went forth to establish the political 

events of the country. 

Stratford Hall is still standing ; and as a distinguished writer, 
in speaking of it, says, " Chantilly, the home of the eloquent Lee, 
is in ruins ; but Stratford, his birthplace, still stands on the Poto- 
mac, as stately as when it was first erected one hundred and 
twenty years ago, at the expense of Queen Caroline, for his father, 
Thomas Lee, then president of the council. Stratford has no su- 
perior in Virginia, and but one rival, Rosewell, on the York." 

In a letter received from Mr. Charles Carter Lee of Powhattan, 
Va., he thus speaks of the old mansion : — 

" In Bishop Meade's work on ' Old Families of Virginia,' there 
is an engraving of Stratford as it now appears : but, when I was a 
boy, the chimneys of the house were the columns of two summer- 
houses, between which there was a balustrade ; and in Col. Philip 
Lee's time, during the evening promenade of ladies and gentle- 
men, a band of music played the while in one of the summer- 
houses. Col. Philip also kept a barge, in which the family en- 
joyed the music of his band upon the water. But the house is 
more remarkable for being the birthplace of two of the signers 
of the Declaration of Independence, and also of my brother 
Robert, who was born in the same chamber as they were." In 
his " Virginia Georgics," Mr. Lee thus poetically refers to Strat- 
ford : — 


"On the Potomac doth a mansion stand, 
Whose walls were built of brick from Old England ; 
Eight chimneys formed two summer-house pillars, 
From which were seen Potomac's sea-like billows ; 
Tall Lombardy poplars, in lengthened row, 
Far o'er the woods a dwelling's signal show, — 
A pillar of cloud by day to guide the stranger 
To a generous board, and his horse to a good manger. 
This was the old seat of the Lees, renowned 
For what none else can boast of on the ground, — 
For being the birthplace of two of the signers 
Of the Declaration of Independence. Mine was 
Here, too, a circumstance to others worthless. 
But much to me, for I am fond of my birthplace. 
And am glad the sun first greeted me on earth 
Where the moon of independence had his birth. 

" I think there was a mile of solid wall 
Surrounding offices, garden, stables, and all ; 
And on the eastern side of the garden one. 
Pomegranates ripened in the morning sun ; 
And farther off, yet sheltered by it, grew 
Figs, such as those Alcinous' garden knew, 
And owned, when they increased my childhood's blisses, 
By him who was called the American Ulysses.* 

" Yet at the end of this long wall, where played 
So often in the soft pomegranate's shade, 
Phil, Tom, Dick, Henry, Francis Lightfoot Lee, 
William, and Arthur, in their childhood's glee, 
Destined, at length, to be such famous men, 
Was formed at the same structure a pig-pen : 
Perhaps its best description is, 'twas one 
End of the wall shaped to an octagon." f 

* Col. Henry Lee, of the Legion, who was thus styled by Col. Howard, 
t See Vir^nia Georgics, p. 41. 


Another writer thus describes the mansion : — 

A.D. 1756. 

" For the thickness of its walls, and the excellency of 
its architecture, it is not surpassed, if equalled, by any in Virginia. 
An American writer says there were one hundred rooms in the 
house ; but a view of it will show how untrue this is : even 
including the basement and large hall, there are not more, I 
think, than seventeen, and never were more. Another author 
says there were one hundred stalls for horses, as equally untrue." 

The following simple inscription upon the tomb of Thomas 
Lee is still to be seen at the family-vault, near the old family- 
seat : — 

" In memory of the Hon. Thomas Lee, 
Whose body was buried at Pope's-Creek 
Church, five miles above his 
Country seat, Stratford Hall. 
A.D. 1756." 

By the marriage of Thomas Lee, we have eight children, six 
sons and two daughters, each of whom is famous in the annals 
of our country, and will require a separate notice. 

Thomas Lee (known as President Lee) was father 
to lyg °^ Philip Ludwell, Richard Henry, Thomas, Francis 
Lightfoot, and William, and Arthur. We add, in the 
language of Mr. Charles Campbell, "As Westmoreland, their 
native county, is distinguished above all others in Virginia as the 
birthplace of genius, so, perhaps, no other Virginian could boast 
so many distinguished sons as President Lee." 

Philip Ludwell Lee, the eldest son, was born at Stratford. He 
was a member of the house of burgesses, and took an active part 
in the commencement of the struggle for independence. 


He resided at Stratford, and maintained the generous 
hospitality of his father, as we learn from his descend- 
ant, Mr. Charles Carter Lee. He married Miss Steptoe of Vir- 
ginia, and had two daughters, Matilda and Flora; one, the wife 
of the celebrated partisan leader, Gen. Henry Lee; the other, 
the wife of Ludwell Lee of Loudon County, Va. 

Thomas Ludwell Lee, the second son, who bears the name of 
both parents, was also prominent in the military movements of 
the times ; and was one of the first to lead Virginians against the 
invaders of their rights. 

We learn from the Hon. Judge Daniel of Virginia, that " Col. 
Thomas Ludwell Lee owned a plantation on the Potomac Creek, 
called Belle View. His son, who bore his name, removed to 
London : one of his daughters married Daniel Carroll Brent of 
Richland, Stafford County, and the other. Dr. John Dalrymple 
of Prince William County." 

The wife of Thomas Ludwell Lee was Miss Aylett, of an 
ancient Virginia family. 

Richard Henry Lee, the great political leader, was born at Strat- 
ford, on the banks of the Potomac, on the 20th of January, 1732, 
the year of the birth of Gen. Washington, and scarce a month 
before that event. 

He completed his academic education in England ; and, at an 
early age, returned to Virginia, where he pursued his studies until 
the year 1755, when he raised a company of volunteers in aid of 
Gen. Braddock ; but his expectations failed, as that gen- 
eral refused more troops. At the early age of twenty- ' ' ^^ 
five, he was appointed a justice for his county, a position 
which then was rarely given to one of his years. 

Being afterwards sent to the house of burgesses from his 


county, he rapidly rose to distinction, and soon com- 
A.D. 175 n;^anded the attention and respect of the house. 

to 1794. _ ^ ^ 

His first great pohtical act was produced in 1764, 
being a remonstrance to the king and house of lords against 
the tax act, " which," says his grandson and biographer, " contains 
the genuine principles of the Revolution, and abounds in the firm 
and eloquent sentiments of freemen." 

But the greatest and most important act of his political career 
was his great motion of loth June, 1776, — " That these United 
Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent 
States ; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British 
crown ; and that all political connection between them and Great 
Britain is, and ought to be, totally absolved." 

We can almost hear these stirring and patriotic notes as they 
ring upon the ears of his entranced hearers, and can almost see 
that tall spare form, " his head," in the language of a kindred 
spirit, " leaning persuasively and gracefully forward ; his Roman 
profile, which instantly marked him out from lobby or gallery; 
his action, polished with such rare skill, that the loss of the fingers 
of his left hand failed to attract the attention of the observer; his 
flowing eloquence, set off by the modulated tones of a sweet 
voice; his classic wit; his devotion to his country; and his calm 
and ardent piety, which gilded his pathway almost from the cradle 
to the grave, — all of which," as the writer adds, "as they are con- 
templated by us with delight at the distance of two generations, 
so they will be remembered with grateful admiration for all time 
to come." 

After serving for many years, both in the congressional and 
state councils, and after seeing the establishment of a " permanent 
government " as the fruit of his labors, he was forced by failing 


health to resio^n his seat in Cons^ress ; and retiring^ to 

. . A.D. 1794. 

Chantilly, his seat upon the Potomac, died June 19, 
A.D. 1 794, mourned and beloved by a grateful country. 

Richard Henry Lee was twice married. His first wife was 
Miss Aylett ; his second, Miss Pinkard. He had seven children. 

Francis Lightfoot Lee, like his brothers, took an active part in 
the political and military events of the time in which he lived. 

He married Rebecca Tayloe, a.d. i 769. 

William Lee, fifth son of President Lee, married Miss Ludwell, 
and resided at Great Tower Hill, London. We subjoin a very 
interesting letter from him to the Rev. Dr. H. Lee, warden to 
W^inchester College, England, which throws much light upon the 
family history. 

" Letter from William Lee, Esq., of Virginia, dated Great 
Tower Hill, London, 1771, to Rev. Dr. H. Lee, warden of Win- 
chester Collesfe, Eno-land." 

"Sir, — It gave me much pleasure to find from a conversation 
the other day with Mr. Batson, my banker, who speaks very 
highly in your praise, that we were of the same family. He tells 
me you are the second son of the late Eldred Lancelot Lee of 
Coton, in Shropshire, and that your elder brother is now at Aix, 
in the south of France, for the recovery of his health. I know 
your father corresponded with mine, who was one of the king's 
privy council in Virginia, and, when he died, was president and 
commander-in-chief over that colony ; and I remember, when a 
little boy in Virginia, to have seen and read a very sensible letter, 
and well written, from your father to mine, giving an accurate 
genealogical account of our family from so old a date as the 
Saxon government in this country ; from which people I am sure 


he traced the descent of our family. From that account, 

A.D. 1794. 

it appeared that Cotton, or Coton, was the eldest branch ; 
and his immediate predecessor, who went to Virginia about one 
hundred and thirty years ago as secretary of the king's privy 
council, was a younger brother. I remember one observation he 
made, which struck my young mind very forcibly. He says, ' 'Tis 
worthy of remark, that, in so long a period, there has been neither 
spendthrift nor usurer in the family ; the children moderately 
using the patrimony left them, without adding much to the store, 
by which means they have always continued independent; and, 
not being ambitious, they have kept nearly the same rank in 
life through so many centuries as the original stock was in, which 
is more than can be said of most families in the kingdom : ' which 
remark is surprisingly verified by the family in Virginia, which 
has continued, from father to son, to be placed in the highest 
offices of honor in the colonies ever since the first Richard Lee, 
my great-grandfather, who went there one hundred and thirty 
years ago to this very day ; and I believe every inch of property 
left them as his (which was considerable) is now in the possession 
of his immediate descendants. As your father was a gentleman 
of learning and observation, I do not doubt his having left behind 
him some historical account of the family, and I shall be particu- 
larly obliged to you for any information you can give me about it, 
as I am anxious to know all the different branches in this country. 
Pray, is not the Earl of Litchfield of our family } for he has the 
name, and, I think, bears the arms. Have we any relations in or 
near London, as I find there are many of our name } I shall be 
glad to hear of your brother's recovery ; and, if he comes to London 
on his return, I shall be happy to see him on Great Tower Hill, 
where I will hope for the honor of a visit from you when you 


come to town ; and I shall with much pleasure render 

, . , . A.U. 1794 

you any services here that are m my power. 

" Yours, &c. 

"WM. LEE." 

We also learn that William Lee was the first to su^Qrest the 
steps that led to the armed neutrality of 1780. We insert a 
letter on this subject, addressed to his kinsman Thomas Sim 
Lee, governor of Maryland, of whom we give an interesting 
sketch in our chapter on the Maryland branch of the family. 
We introduce this letter, with some remarks from " The National 
Intelligencer" of 1859, which will increase its interest: — 

" William Lee, the writer of the communication, as we learn 
from the gentleman (a lineal descendant of Gov. Lee) to whom we 
are indebted for the privilege of laying it before our readers, and 
as is also stated by Mr. Sparks in his ' Diplomatic Correspon- 
dence of the American Revolution,' was, in July, 1777, appointed 
by the Continental Congress a commissioner of the United States 
to the courts of Vienna and Berlin. At the commencement of 
the Revolution, he had resided several years m London as a mer- 
chant, and had acquired so much popularity, that he was chosen 
an alderman of that city, which post he held at the breaking-out 
of the war. It is a little remarkable, that, durinof the entire 
period of Mr. Lee's public agency in the service of the United 
States, he was still an alderman of the city of London. He sent 
his resignation to the common council ; but they declined accept- 
ing it, on account of the alleged difficulty of finding a suitable 
successor whose principles agreed with those of the majority. 
We have only to add, that William Lee, the writer of the follow- 
ing letter, was the brother of Richard Henry Lee, Francis Light- 
foot Lee, and Arthur Lee, whose names are more familiarly 


known from their more public connection with our 

A.D. 1794. 

Revolutionary history; the names of the two former 
being found subscribed to the Declaration of Independence. 

"Brussels, Dec. 10, 1780. 

" Dear Sir, — I embraced the earliest opportunity of congratu- 
lating you on the signal honor done, by your country, to your 
merit and abilities, by appointing you their governor ; and, though 
the period is trying and difficult, I have no doubt of your acquit- 
ting yourself in the important station to the advantage of ydur 
country and credit of yourself 

" You have been frequently advised of the enemy's plan against 
North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, which was adopted since 
receiving advice of the capture of Charleston ; and, to facilitate 
the business, many suspicious characters, natives of those States, 
that have been in England, doing no good to us, for some years 
past, have been ordered to their respective countries to aid the 
enemy's designs, by creating division, confusion, and disturbance 
in your councils and operations. Should any such characters 
now come among you, especially if they have passed through the 
enemy's quarters, you cannot be too attentive to their motions 
and conduct. It is said that they have permission from the 
British ministry to take the oaths to their respective States, for 
reasons obvious. By Leslie's expedition to the Chesapeake, part 
of the enemy's grand plan has begun to be executed ; and, if 
Leslie succeeds in making any establishment in Virginia or 
North Carolina, next spring's campaign will be opened with the 
greater part of the British force against Virginia and Maryland, 
in which case your country will act with sound wisdom and 
policy by affording very powerful assistance to Virginia, which 


will surely prove the most effectual method to prevent 

A.D. 1794. 

the horrors of war from ragmg in their own country, and 
the flames from seizing their own houses. Every State will show 
its wisdom in choosing the most able and honest men amonQ- 
them, and who have an interest of their own to lose, to repre- 
sent them in Congress. The system of general and long-con- 
tinued embargoes on the export of grain and provisions ap- 
pears to me bad policy, as they naturally tend to produce 
scarcity, and, in bad seasons, even a famine, by discouraging agri- 
culture. Your operations seem to have been much distracted 
by the depreciation of your paper currency : the only solid rem- 
edy seems to be in the power of Congress ; and perhaps it has 
hitherto been neglected because it is plain and simple. A fund 
established in Europe (which might be established by a loan, 
until, by the export of your commodities, it might be supported 
on easier terms to America), and sacredly appropriated to the sole 
use of paying the interest annually of the paper money, would, in 
a little time, establish the credit and currency of your paper on as 
solid a basis as the bank-notes of England or Holland ; and by 
this means, with your paper, you would be enabled to procure 
supplies for your army on much better terms than you have done 
hitherto. The plan of conducting such a business is so plain, that 
I shall only add my sincere wishes it may speedily be adopted. 

" The British ministry have certainly promised Gen. Clinton to 
send him in the spripg a re-enforcement of ten thousand men, 
including the recruits for the German corps now in America. 
Perhaps some may flatter you that the enemy will not be able to 
procure such a number to send ; but I request you not to deceive 
yourselves, and be inattentive to your true interests, by relying 
on such rumors, or the foreign aid that may be promised you 


from Europe : no people can be in safety that rely on 
another for protection. France is indeed very powerful, 
both by sea and land, and will, no doubt, act vigorously against 
the common enemy; but so many accidents and untoward 
circumstances have intervened to render abortive all the at- 
tempts they have hitherto made to assist us, that, in common sense 
and prudence, you ought not to trust to aid that is to come from 
Europe. If it does come, so much the better, as you may then 
finish the war at once ; but place your confidence on yourselves 
alone, and then you cannot be essentially hurt. 

" The Dutch have at last formally acceded, and so has the King 
of Prussia, to the treaty of armed neutrality, as proposed last 
spring by the Empress of Russia, and since entered into by 
Sweden and Denmark, The object of this great and powerful 
league is to support the freedom of general commerce and navi- 
gation against the unwarrantable pretensions of Great Britain ; 
therefore she must now quietly permit France and Spain to be 
supplied with naval stores for the support of their navy, or enter 
into a war with this tremendous confederacy. It is, however, 
impossible for her to resist, which must finally give the superi- 
ority to France and Spain. I feel no little pleasure in communi- 
cating to you the completion, so far, of this confederacy, as the first 
traces were laid by myself, two years ago ; and, if Congress had 
now in Europe ministers properly authorized to negotiate with 
those powers, it would not be difficult to obtain a general 
acknowledgment from them of the independence of America, 
which was my ultimate object in forming the outlines of this 

" The public news in England you will see in all the papers 
that go by this conveyance ; so that I have only to recommend 


to you, in the most pressing manner, a vigorous exertion, 
unanimity, and confidence in yourselves, which may, in 
all probability, end the war this year in your favor. 

" We humbly present our respectful compliments to your 
worthy lady, and beg you to believe me to be, at all times, 
dear sir, your affectionate relation, and most obedient, humble 


The Armed Neutrality of i 780. — " It is known to every 
student of history and of public law, that the usages and practices 
of belligerent nations, from the earliest times, subjected enemy's 
goods, in neutral vessels, to capture and condemnation as lawful 
prize of war. This prevalent regulation was, however, in many 
cases, suspended by treaty stipulations, forming a temporary con- 
ventional law between the parties to such compacts. It became, 
for instance, at an early period, an object of interest to Holland, 
as a great commercial country whose permanent policy was 
pacific, to obtain a relaxation of the severe rules which had been 
previously recognized in maritime warfare. The principle that 
the character of the vessel should determine that of the cargo was 
also adopted by the celebrated Treaty of Utrecht, in 171 3, subse- 
quently confirmed by the Treaties of 1721 and 1739, between 
Great Britain and Spain, and by the Treaties of Aix-la-Chapelle in 
1748, and of Paris in 1763, between Great Britain, Spain, and 

" Such, says Wheaton, was the fluctuating state of consuetudi- 
nary and conventional law prevailing among the principal mari- 
time powers of Europe, when the Declaration of Independence 
by the British North-American Colonies gave rise to a maritime 


war between Great Britain and France. With a view 

A.D. 1794. . . 

to conciliate those powers which remained neutral 
in this war, the cabinet of Versailles issued, on the 26th of 
July, 1778, an ordinance or instruction to French cruisers, pro- 
hibiting the capture of neutral vessels, even when bound to or 
from the enemy's ports, unless laden, in whole or in part, with 
contraband articles, designed for the enemy's use, the French 
government reserving, however, the right to revoke this conces- 
sion, unless the enemy should adopt a reciprocal measure v/ithin 
six months. 

" The British Government, far from adopting any such measure, 
issued, in March, 1780, an order in council suspending the special 
stipulations respecting neutral commerce and navigation con- 
tained in the treaty of alliance of 1674, between Great Britain and 
Holland. And it was immediately after the promulgation of this 
edict that the Empress Catharine of Russia communicated to the 
belligerent and neutral powers of Europe the famous declaration 
of neutrality, the principles of which were speedily acceded to by 
France, Spain, and the United States of America, as belligerent 
parties, and by Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, Holland, the Emperor 
of Germany, Portugal, and Naples, as neutral powers. 

" By this declaration (which, as Wheaton adds, afterwards be- 
came the basis of the armed neutrality of the Baltic powers), the 
rule that free ships make free goods was adopted without the 
previously-associated maxim that ' enemy ships should make 
enemy goods.' The British Government answered this formidable 
declaration by appealing to ' the principles generally acknowl- 
edged as the law of nations ; ' but circumstances compelled it to 
suppress, for a time, the resentment naturally felt towards the 
parties to a measure which so greatly crippled British supremacy 


on the seas, and aided the insurgent colonies in their 

A.D. 1794. 

struggle for independence. 

" In 'The Intelligencer' of Saturday last, we gave an interesting 
extract from a recent oration of George Sumner, Esq., of Boston, 
in which the authorship of this famous declaration is referred to 
Florida Blanca, the Spanish minister for foreign affairs" at. that 
date. To this effect Mr. Sumner remarks as follows: — 

" ' One of our wisest statesmen, John Adams, has said, " We 
owe the blessings of peace, not to the causes assigned, but to the 
armed neutrality." And who was the real author of the armed 
neutrality.? Who conceived that act.? and who, by his ingenuity 
and indefatigable perseverance, led Russia, and, with her, the 
northern powers, to adopt it ? Florida Blanca, the minister of 
Spain ; and to him and to his country I here render the honor, 
with all the more pleasure that this has not usually been done, 
and that the documents which establish their claim to it are in my 
possession. For such aid as the armed neutrality gave us, again 
we have to thank Spain.' 

" A friend, whose attention was called to the historical memo- 
randa cited by Mr. Sumner, has obligingly communicated to us 
the subjoined letter, in which it will be seen that the writer, un- 
known to common fame, though not without honorable historic 
traditions connected with his name, claims to have been the first 
to suggest the steps which led to this important measure. The 
letter, which was written in December, 1780, and therefore con- 
temporaneously with the promulgation of the armed neutrality, 
is from the pen of William Lee, a native of Virginia; and is 
addressed to his kinsman, Thomas Sim Lee, at that time, and 
from 1779 to 1783, the governor of Maryland." 


The sixth son of President Lee was Dr. Arthur 
Lee of London (who is supposed to have brought the 
ancient genealogical document to this country), whose valuable 
services to his country in negotiating with the European powers 
was justly appreciated by his native State, which presented him 
with forty thousand acres of land. In this connection, we offer a 
most interesting extract from a letter from Baron Neslerode to 
Dr. Arthur Lee, dated Antwerp, Dec. 20, 1782, enclosed in a 
letter to his kinsman, Governor Thomas Sim Lee of Maryland. 

Extract of a letter from Baron Neslerode to Dr. A. Lee, dated 
Antwerp, Dec. 20, 1782. 

" The Empress of Russia, instead of furnishing the assistance to 
the Dutch which she was bound to do by the treaty of armed 
neutrality, has been amusing them with an offer of her mediation 
for a particular peace with Great Britain. This mediation the 
British ministry at first haughtily rejected, but have lately ac- 
cepted it in very flattering terms to the empress, on condition, 
however, that the Dutch submit to their terms. 

" The late prime minister, Count Parrin, declared in council 
that he had been offered one hundred thousand potmds sterling by 
the British ministry, which he had rejected with disdain ; and he 
hoped that all her Majesty's ministers would act in the same 
manner: but finding himself mistaken, and that the British em- 
issaries had got possession of the empress's ear, he resigned. This 
resignation had occasioned such a ferment among the nobles and 
grandees, that, if the empress were to take an open part with 
England, she might possibly pay for her folly with her life. 'Tis 
certain she apprehends something, since she has sent her son, 
the grand duke and his wife, on their travels to Vienna and Italy, 
— an honorable banishment for three years, they being enemies to 


Ens^land. The Prince of Orange is sold to the English 

... A.D. 1794. 

by the Duke of Brunswick, his director. The Orange 
faction, finding that the popular party is gaining ground every 
day, insist upon an immediate treaty with France ; for a joint 
prosecution of the w^ar, and a treaty of commerce with America, 
have, in combination with the British ministry, pushed the busi- 
ness of the Russian mediation, to amuse the public with the idea 
of peace, that no preparation may be made during the winter for 
the ensuing campaign, and to prevent the proposed treaties \vith 
France and America. 

" The emperor has turned his back on the English, and, taking 
advantage of the present times, is demolishing all the fortifications 
of the barrier towns in this country where the Dutch kept garri- 
sons ; and it seems that the states-general have agreed to with- 
draw their troops. We do not know that the system of France 
will be altered by the death of Count Maurepas ; but of this we 
shall be better able to judge when his successor is appointed." 

Sent, with Mr. A. Lee's compliments, to Governor Lee of 


After making the tour of Europe in the service of his country, 
he returned to Virginia, where he continued in public life up to 
the time of his death, which took place Dec. 12, 1792, at his 
residence in Rappahannock County, Va. For his literary and 
scientific attainments, he was emment in both countries ; and 
many of his valuable productions are still preserved. 


The Ludwell Family was of German descent. Through 
their mother, PhiHp and John Ludwell were descendants 
of the famous Lord Cottington, of whom we have a full account in 
Clarendon s " History of the Rebellion." Philip Ludwell went to 
America in 1694, as governor of Carolina, fi'om whence he went to 
Virginia, and married the widow of Sir William Berkeley. Their 
only daughter married Col. Parke ; and their son Philip married 
Miss Harrison, and had two daughters. Lucy, the eldest, married 
Col. Grymes, and Hannah married Thomas Lee. ' This Philip 
Ludwell was, as his father, of the council of Virginia. 

The following epitaph of Thomas Ludwell, uncle of the above 
Philip, is still seen in the old Williamsburg graveyard : — 

"Under this marble lyeth the body of Thomas Ludwell, Esq"", Secretary of 
V^ and who was born at Bruton, in the County of Somerset, in the Kingdom 
of England, and departed this life in the year 1678 ; and near this lye the bodies of 
Rich'i Kemp, Esq"", his predecessor in the secretary's office ; and Sir Thomas 
Lunsford, knight. In memory of whom this marble is placed by order of Philip 
Ludwell, Esq""., nephew of said Thomas Ludwell, in the year 1727." 

Henry Lee, fifth son of Richard Lee, whose issue 

A.D. 1671. ^ 

forms the fourth branch handed down to us, was born in 
Virginia, and, like his brothers, was a member in the early coun- 
cils of the colony. He married a Miss Bland, of whose family 
Mr. Campbell thus speaks : — 

" The Blands of Virginia derive their name from Bland, a place 
in Westmoreland or Cumberland, England. William de Bland 
flourished in the reign of Edward 111., and did good service in 
the wars which that king carried on in France, in company with 
John of Gaunt, Earl of Richmond. Thomas de Bland obtained a 
pardon of Richard the Second, for the death of a person slain in 


a duel, by the interposition of his friend, the Duke of 

A.D. 1671. 

Guyenne and Lancaster. Edmund Bland, a merchant 
in Spain (1643), removed to Virginia, and settled at Kimages, in 
Charles-city County. Theodoric Bland left three sons, of whom 
the second was born at Berkeley (1665). His second wife, Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Col. William Randolph of Turkey Island ; and 
their eldest son was Richard, afterwards a member of the old 
Congress, and whose seat was called ' Jordon's Point.' " * 

This Richard was the father of the Miss Bland here referred 
to: — 

" Theodoric Bland, the father of Richard, settled at Westover, 
upon James River, Charles-city County, 1654, and died 23d April, 
1 67 1, aged forty-one years, and was buried in the chancel of the 
church, which he built and gave, together with ten acres of land, 
a court-house, and prison, for the county and parish. He lies 
buried in the Westover Churchyard, between two of his friends ; 
the church having long since fallen down. He was of the king's 
council, and speaker of the house of burgesses, and was, in fortune 
and understanding, inferior to no man of his time in the country. 
He married Ann, daughter of Richard Burnet, sometime governor 
of the colony." t 

By the marriage of Henry Lee and Miss Bland, there were 
three children, — two sons and a daughter. Richard Lee of Lee 
Hall, the eldest, married a Miss Poythress of Prince George, 
whose family we have not obtained. 

Henry Lee, second son, married a Miss Grymes, whose family 
we will notice more fully ; and the only daughter married a Fitz- 

* See Mr. Charles CampbeH's " History of Virginia," p. i6i. 
t See Bland Papers, vol. i. p. 14S. 


Henry Lee of Stafford, and Lucy Grymes, were mar- 

A D ly^o 

ried at Green-Spring, on Saturday, ist December, 1753, 
by the Rev. William Preston of James City. 

Henry Lee was a member of the house of burgesses, and took 
an active part in all the exciting events of his time. 

" Lucy Grymes, wKo married Henry Lee, is reported to be a 
descendant of Major John Grymes, whose father was Gen. Thomas 
Grymes, under Cromwell. His epitaph is as follows : — 

" ' Here lies interred the body of 

The Hon. John Grymes, Esq'', who for 

many years acted in the public 

affairs of this Dominion with 

honor, fortitude, fidelity to their 

Majesty's King George I. and H. 

Of the Council of State, of the 

Royal Perogative, of the liberty 

and property of the subject, a 

Zealous asserter. On the seat 

of Judgment clear, sound, unbiassed. 

In the office of Receiver General punctual 

approved. Of the College of William & Mar)' 

an ornament, visitor, patron. 

Beneficent to all, a pattern of true 

piety. Respected, loved, revered. 

Lamented by his family, acquaintance. 

Country. He departed this life the 

2"^ day of November, 1748, in the 

57*'^ year of his age.'" 

Green-Spring, which is frequently mentioned in connection 
with the Lees, was the residence of Sir William Berkeley, which 
was granted to him in 1669. It was afterwards the temporary 


residence of President Lee durins^ his administration of 

, A.D. 1750. 

the colony. In 1676, Green-Spring was plundered by 
Bacon and his followers, during the rebellion. Of this the gov- 
ernor complained much, that " his dwelling-house at Green-Spring 
was almost ruined, his household goods, and others of great 
value, totally plundered ; that he had not a bed to lye on ; two 
great beasts, three hundred sheep, seventy horses and mares, all 
his corn and provisions, taken away." 

The Assembly of Virginia was held at Green-Spring in 1677. 
An interesting description is given of the old mansion in " The 
Virginia Historical Register." 

Henry Lee left a large family, — six sons and five daughters. 

First, Col. Henry Lee (Light-Horse Harry), who married twice. 
Charles Lee, the second son, first married a daughter of Richard 
H. Lee. His second wife was Margaret, widow of Yelverton 
Peyton, and youngest daughter of the Rev. John Scott. 

John died early. The remaining sons, Richard, Theodoric, 
and Edmund G., married ; and their families are now represented 
throughout the State. 

Of the five daughters, two died young. Mary married a Fen- 
dall ; and Nancy married William B. Page, of whose family we 
gather the following: — 

" William Byrd Page was the grandson of John Page of 
London, supposed to have been knighted for proposing a regula- 
tion on the tobacco-trade and duty thereon. (See Auto, of Gov. 
Page.) Roswell on the York, the former seat of the Pages, is still 
standing, a monument of colossal grandeur, and fully justifies the 
immense wealth of its owner, whose landed estate was computed 
at nearly thirty thousand acres, scattered throughout Virginia. 
The family is still represented throughout the country, many 
of whom have been distinguished in public affairs." 


Gen. Henry Lee, first son of Henry Lee of Stafford, 
■ g'g was born at Leesylvania, Prince William County, Va., 

Jan. 29, 1756. Much connected with this celebrated 
chieftain is to be found in the history of the country, the most 
important parts of which we give. 

Gen. Henry Lee was educated in this country. At an early 
age, he was intrusted with the management of the family estate, 
which was extensive, and which trust he most ably fulfilled. In 
1776, he was appointed captain of a cavalry company, with which, 
under the command of Col. Bland, he joined the provincial army, 
under Washington. By a strict system of discipline, and great 
care of his men and horses, he gained distinction, and attracted 
the notice of his commanding officers. In 1778, congress pro- 
moted him to the rank of major, for gallant conduct; and, with a 
fine corps of cavalry and infantry, his command soon became 
celebrated, and was known as the famous '• Lee's Legion," which 
formed the rear-guard to Gen. Greene's army in his retreat to 
Virginia before Cornwallis. After participating in many of the 
principal actions in North and South Carolina and Georgia, Col. 
Lee, after the surrender of Cornwallis, was appointed, in the fall 

of 1786, a delegate to congress from Virg^inia, in which 

A.D. 1786. / * . "^ . . 

station he remained until the permanent Constitution of 
the United States was established, after which he was a member 
of the Virginia convention of 1788, which ratified the 
Constitution, in aid of which he was a zealous advocate. 
He was afterwards a delesrate for his native State. 


In 1792, retiring from the assembly, he was raised to 
the gubernatorial chair, which he filled with great dis- 
tinction for three successive years. 

During the rebellion in Western Pennsylvania, Gen. Washing- 





ton appointed Gov. Lee to the command of the forces 

A.D. 1799. 

to put down that disturbance, which he most effectually 

did. In 1799, he was again chosen a member to congress, and, 

while there, pronounced his great eulogy upon Washington. 

Upon the accession of Mr. Jefferson to the presidency, he 
retired to private life, in which he remained to his death. During 
the latter part of his life, he prepared his excellent memoirs of 
the " Southern Campaigns," a work which, a distinguished writer 
says, " If not remarkable for great polish of style, is entitled, from 
its bold, manly, and sincere tone, as well as the power of the de- 
scriptions, and the interest of the information, to rank with the 
best works relating to the Revolutionary War." 

In 1 8 14, Gen. Lee received such serious injuries, 

A.D. 1S14. 

during a Baltimore riot which he was attempting to 
quell, that his health rapidly declined. He sought the mild 
climate of the West Indies, hoping to allay the disease ; but, 
while on his way home to the United States, he died on Cumber- 
land Island, near St. Mary's, Ga., March 25, 181 8. 

Gen. Lee married twice, — first, Matilda, daughter of Philip 
Ludwell, of whose family we have already given a sketch. By 
this wife he had two children, — Henry Lee, who was major in 
the war of 181 2, and a daughter Lucy. The second wife of Gen. 
Lee was Ann, daughter of Charles Carter, Esq., and sister of the 
celebrated Robert Carter of Crotoman, alias " King Carter," an 
interesting account of whom is to be found in Mr. Charles Camp- 
bell's work, from which we take the following : — 

" Robert Carter (sometimes called Robin) married, first, Judith 
Armstead, and, secondly, Betty, a descendant of the noble family 
of Landons, by whom he left many children. His portrait, and 
that of one of his wives, are still preserved at ' Shirley,' on James 


River, the seat of Hill Carter, Esq. The arms of the Carters 
bear cart-wheels vert ; John Carter, first of the family, and one 
of the council, is mentioned in Henning's " Statutes at Large ; " 
also Edward Carter, burgess, and member of the council. Rob- 
ert Carter, owing to his ample extent of territory in the northern 
neck of Virginia, which is reported to have been three hundred 
thousand acres of land, and one thousand slaves, acquired the 
soubriquet of ' King Carter.' He died, and was buried at his 
residence, Aug. 4, 1732, aged 69." 

Speaking of Robert Carter, Grigsby, in his eloquent report on 
the Virginia Assembly of 1776, says, — 

" The ' king,' as a boy of fourteen, had known Sir William 
Berkeley, had played on the lawn of Green-Spring, and might 
have seen the aged cavalier, when, in search of health, he em- 
barked for England, to revisit his rural home no more." 

The children of the second wife of Gen. Henry Lee 

A.D. 1818. ■' 

are three sons and two daughters ; namely, Charles 
Carter Lee, Esq., of Powhattan, Va., Sydney Smith Lee, who was 
a commodore in the United-States navy in i860, and Gen. 
Robert Edward Lee, now president of Washington College, 
Lexington, Va. The two daughters were Anne Lee and Mil- 
dred Lee. 





" This Pedigree & y Deeds were Extracted 

" by Us, Charles Townley, York ; 

John Pomfret, Rouge Croix. 
August r' 1750." 


Hugo de Lega 1 
de le in charta 
valde antiqua 
sine data. 


Reginaldus de la Le 
cui Willus filius Willi 
filii Alani ad peticcem 
Fulconis filii Warini 
concefsit terras. 


Joties de Lee, Miles cui :=: 
Hugo de Hinton dedit | 

terras per chartam I 

sine data: vixit A". 26: E: i.i 
pater Thomae de la Lee 1 
A». 30. E: I. I 


Thomas de la Lee Miles, 
concefsit Reginaldo de 

la Lee filio suo jmogenito 

Villam de Lee subtiis 


— Petronilla filia 
I Thoraae Corbet, 

' Militis. 



Reginaldus de la Lee = 

cui pater ejus dedit 

villam de Lee ; supstes 

A°. 14 : E. 2. 

Alicia, uxor 

ejus vixit 

A°. 13. E. 2. 

Thomas de la Lee, 
filius junior. 

Jones de la Lee Miles 

filius Reginald!, Dnus 

de Roden, A". 15 E : 2. 

et A". 1 E. 3. 

— Matilda, filia 

Henrici de Erdington. 

Jones de la Lee Miles, 
fihus Johis de la Lee 
Militis. A". 32. E. 3. et 
33 : E. 3. 

Matilda de la Lee 
I E: 3- 


Robertus de la lee 
filius Johis de la Lee 
Dni de Roden, A". 
S. R : 2. 

Margareta filia et haeres 
Thomae Astley de Nordley. 



Rogerus de la Lee 

filius et haeres, primus 

Dnus de Langley. 

Johanna, filia et haeres 
Edvardi Bumell. 


Robertus de Lee, 
de Langley in Coin. Salop. 

Petronilla, uxor ejus ut apparet 

p : chartam dat : A° 1 1 : H. 4, 

et aliam 17 ; H. 6. et aliam A». 20. Hen. 6. 



Radulphus de Lee, 
Superstes 25 H. 6. et 18 
E. 4. Obijt A", ig E. 4. 

Ricardus Lee de 

Langley in Coin. Salop A". 20 


Isabella, filia Jacobi Ridley; 
fuit vidua A". 20. E. 4. 

Margeria, filia et cohaeres 
Fulconis Sprenchofs, Militis. 


Ricardus Lee 

of Langley in 

Coin. Salop : fil : 

2du3 vixit A". I 

H. 7. 

Elizabetha filia et haeres ; 

nupta Thomas Kinaston 

de Cotton. 




— filia. 




Alicia filia = 

uxor Francisci 


Ric* Cornwall, 


Lbgen Armig". 


de Berrington in 

Com. Hereford 

Mihtis. uxor i™"' 


Thomas Lee de 

Langley in Com. 

Salop : A''. 

Jana, filia Rob" 
Corbet, de Morton, 


Johannes Lee 
filius junior Robert! 
de la Lee. 

Jocofa, filb 
— Packington. 


Johes Lee de Nordley 
in Coin. Salop. 

Elizabetha, filia et 
haeres, Th" Corbyne. 


Thomas Lee de 
Nordley in Coin. Salop. 

Johanna, filia Ro""' Morton 
de Houghton, in Com. Salop. 


fil: & haeres, 
- Hoke. 

Fulco Lee = 

Langley in 

Com. Salop : 

filius et 



Elizabetha, filia 
Johis Leighton 
Arm. uxor 2<'». 

Margareta, uxor 
Reginald! Williams. 

Humfi-idus Lee 

de Cotton in 

Coin. Salop. 


Katherina, filia 

Johannes Blount 

de Yro. 

Anna nupta 
Johi Klnge. 




Jocofa, Dorothea, 

Richardus . 

uxor Rob", uxor Ritf 

Lee, de 

Morton de Purfell. 

Langley in 


Com Salop. 

juxta Shipnall. 


I an a, 


|4 |5 [6 2| 3| 7| 

= Elianora, lana, Maria, Margareta, Katherina, Jeronimus, Thomas, Sufanna. 

filia Walteri uxor uxor uxor Hugonis uxor Edvardi 

Wrotesley de Edri Edri Boftock de Corbet de 

Wrotesley in Moore. Plowden Morton, Say. Longnor. 
Com. Staff: de 

Plowden in 
Com: Salop. 

VValterus Jana, Humfridus 
2 Alius, 






|5 J3 6|. 4| 

Elizabetha, Franciscus Katherina, Edvardus 
4 filius. 


Lee, de 

filia Reginald! 

uxor Thomae uxor 




uxor Johis 


Langley in 

Corbet A7: 

Mackworth Ric' Powell 



3 filius. 



Com. Salop: 

renins Justic: 

de Helton, de Ednop. 




Banco Regis. 

Strange in 


A". 1623. 

CoS Salop, A~. 


Richardus Lee, 
filius et haeres 


of Langley & 

Acton Burnell 


Elizabeth dau 

Sir Edward Allen 

Knt. of London, 

died 1660. 

Margareta uxor 

Francifci Kinaston 

de Oteley in Com 

Salop. Milltis. 




coheir of 
Lea Hall. 

Ralph Cleaton Esq'. 
2°* Son Ralph Cleaton 
of Oneley Shrop''''" 

Another daughter. 




Johannes Lee 

de Cotton, in 

Kings Nordley in 

Coin. Salop. 

locofa filia Johis 
Romney de Coin Wigoofi 
5. filiam Johis Brington 
de Stoke. 



Gilbertus, 2. 
Jasperus, 3. 
Richardus, 4. 
Edvardus, 5. 

Thomas Lee 

of Cotton in 

Kings Nordley in 

the parish of 

Aberley, in Co. Salop 

Son & heir. 


Dorothy, dau'. unto 

Rich-i. Oteleyof 

Pitchford in Com 

Salop: Esqr. 

Ferdinando, 6. 
Josias, 7. 
Willimus s. p. 8. 

John Katherine, Jane, = Launcelot Lee 

Lee 4 Da^ married Da"', of [ of Cotton, Esq"'. 

Citizen unto Rogi 
of London. Dade. 





in Co. Staff. 

(i" Wife.) 

was aged 70 yrs. 

or thereabouts, 

A°. 1663. 

- Elizabeth, Eleanor, Joyce, Mary, Jane 3'' da', 

da', of Eldest da', wife of Rich*. 5"" D=". Anne 6'^ da'. 

Henry Gough wife of Searle. Martha y'^ da', 

of Wolverhampton Thomas 
in Com. Staff: Nicholls. 
(2" wife.) 


j, 3 [33] 







Thomas = Dorothy Richard = 

= Elizabeth 





Elizabeth Anne 3''. 



da', of Lee of 

dau'. of 

Lee, 4 Son 

Lee, s"" Son 

Lee, 6"' Son 

Eldest da'. 

2d da'. Jane 4"'. 


an utter 

John Eldred the 




of Cliffords 

wife of 

wife of 


Barrist: of 

a Barrister pish of 



Draper of 

Inne A". 





of Lincolns SaintOlaves 


of London 






^£43- 1663. 

Inne. in the 

Borough of 


3d Son 

A". 1663. 

in Cornwall. 

A". 1663. 

A". 1663. 


of Kings 
Com. Staff 

of Alison 
in Co. 





D'. John Lee. 

Letitia Corbin. 






2 Daugh ters, 

1 Betsy Lee. 

2 Ann Lee. 

J_j 1 H I H LhL 


Eldred Launcelot Lee 
set: 12: Anno 1663. 




Martha Lee 

married Turbi- 


— Wormley 
(!»' wife) 

George Lee 

r- Fairfax 
(ana wife) 


3 Sons. 


Philip LudNvell = 

= — Steptoe. 

Thomas = 

= — Aylett. — Pinkard = 

Lee. 1=' Son. 


a"-! wife. 






2 daughters. 

wife of 


Gen. Henry Lee 


of Rev. 

Ludwell Lee 
af Loudoun Co. 


• Turbiville = Hanna 

Sally = Edmund Lee 
Lee. of Alexandria, V« 

Rev-i W" F. Lee. 

■ Aylett. 
i" wife. 










— Ludwell 

ebecca Tayloe 





Lee of 

Loudoun Co. V". 

Girard Alexander. 

Mary Lee, 
wife of 
\V. A. Washington. 

Hanna Lee, 
wife of 

Corbin Wash- 

Ann Lee 

Gen. Walter Jones. 

— Catherine, missionary to China. 









— Silk, PhUip 

heiress of Lee. 



died un- 



dau' of 

— Ludwell 

of England. 


wife of 

Gawin Corbin. 

2"* Daughter. 



Henry Lee 
S"" Son. 

Richard Lee = 

:; — Poythress 

Henry Lee = 

= Lucy Grymes 

Daughter = - 

of Lee Hall. 

of Prince George, 


Staiford, V\ 



Henry Lee = 
Col. Rev. 

Jan 29, 1756. 

Ann = 
Chas. Carter 
2"'' wife. 













Philip L. 




i" wife. 


5 Dau". 


Mary Lee 2' Da' 

L Lee. 

Lucy Lee 4''' „ 

Nancy Lee 5"> „ 

Letitia Lee i" Da' 

Fanny Lee 3' Da'. 

Henry Lee 
Major 1813. 

Lucy Lee 


a: a: 


Charles Carter Sydney Smith 

Lee, of Lee, 

Powhattan, V". Com. i860. 

General Robert Edward Lee, __ Mary Custis, daughter 

born Jan. ig"", 1807, 
married 30"" June, 1831. 

George Washington Parke Custis, 
born October 1=', 1806. 



2 2 




G. W. Custis 

Mary Custis 

Wm. Henry Fitzhugh Annie Carter 

Eleanor Agnes 

Robert Edward 

Mildred Childe 



Lee, Lee, 




i" daughter. 

2^ son. 2-1 daughter. 

3'' daughter. 

3'' son. 

4"> daughter. 

born le"" Sept., 


died Oct 2o't, 1862. 

^^/^^^-t^ 0^^^^ 


.A^ I 


Robert Edward Lee was bom at Stratford, Westmoreland 
County, Va., on the 19th of January, a.d. 1807, in the same room 
in which two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence 
were born ; namely, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot 
Lee. He was the fifth child of Henry Lee, the celebrated " Light- 
Horse Harry " of the Revolution, and bears the name of his 
maternal uncles, Robert and Edward Carter of " Shirley," the 
family residence of the Carters. Robert Carter, full brother of 
Mrs. Lee, was named for " Old King Carter," familiarly called 
" Robin," and was the father of the present Hill Carter of Shirley : 
Edward Carter, half-brother of Mrs. Lee, was the father of Shirley 
and John Hill Carter. 

Robert E. Lee was admitted to the West-Point Military 
Academy, a.d. 1825, at the age of eighteen, and graduated with 
the first honor in 1829, receiving an appointment of second lieu- 
tenant of engineers. On the 30th June, 1831, Lieut. Lee mar- 
ried Mary Custis, daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, 
adopted son, and step-grandson, of George Washington. 

In 1835, he was appointed assistant astronomer of the com- 
mission for determining the boundary lines between Ohio and 
Michigan. He was promoted first lieutenant in 1836, and 



captain in 1838. In 1846, Capt. Lee was appointed chief-en- 
gineer, on the staff of Gen. Wool, in Mexico ; and the next year 
was brevetted major for gallantry at the battle of Cerro Gordo, 
April 18, 1847; ^^^ soon after became lieutenant-colonel, by 
brevet, on account of his services at Contreras and Cherubusco, 
Aug. 20, 1847. 

Col. Lee was wounded at the battle of Chapultepec, and was 
brevetted colonel for his conduct in that battle. Upon the return 
of peace, he was appointed superintendent of the military academy 
at West Point, which position he held from 1852 to 1855. 

In 1858, he again engaged in active service, as a cavalry 
officer, under Col. Albert Sydney Johnston, and distinguished 
himself during the troubles with the Indians in Texas. 

All are familiar with Col. Lee's last active service for the 
United States, when, at the head of a corps of marines, he was 
sent from Washington to suppress the "John Brown raid," at 
Harper's Ferry, Va., at the close of the year 1859. 

Col. Lee took no part in the political dissensions that agitated 
the country for the next two years : he adhered conscientiously to 
the United-States o^overnment and flas^, until the secession of his 
native State. With her fortunes he felt bound to identify himself, 
and in April, 1861, resigned his position in the United-States 
army, and entered the service of the late Confederate States. 

It is unnecessary for us to refer to the Christian fidelity, hu- 
manity, and military skill, the uniform and distinguished gallantry, 
with which Gen. Lee performed his duties, from the first hour of 
conflict, in 1861, to the close of hostilities, in 1865. We simply 
give the facts and dates as addenda to this genealogy. The histo- 
rian of future ages will do justice to the details of the life and 
character of the noble soldier. 


Since the close of the war, Gen. Lee has occupied the position 
of President of Washington College, Rockbridge County, Va., an 
ancient institution, which is fast rising to renewed life and useful- 
ness under his able supervision. 

The following letters will be read with interest : — 
Letters from Gen. Lee. — These letters were written soon 
after the outbreak of the Rebellion : — 

Arlington, Va., April 20, 1S61. 

General, — Since my interview with you on the i8th inst, 
I have felt that I ought not longer to retain my commission in 
the army. I therefore tender my resignation, w^hich I request 
you will recommend for acceptance. It would have been pre- 
sented at once, but for the struggle it has cost me to separate 
myself from a service to which I have devoted all the best years 
of my life, and all the ability I possessed. 

During the whole of that time, more than a quarter of a 
century, I have experienced nothing but kindness from my superi- 
ors, and the most cordial friendship from my comrades. To no one, 
general, have I been as much indebted as to yourself for uniform 
kindness and consideration; and it has always been my ardent 
desire to merit your approbation. I shall carry to the grave the 
most grateful recollections of your kind consideration ; and your 
name and fame will always be dear to me. 

Save in defence of my native State, I never desire again to 

draw my sword. Be pleased to accept my most earnest wishes 

for the continuance of your happiness and prosperity, and believe 

me most truly yours, 

r. e. lee. 

Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott, commanding United-States Army. 


A copy of the preceding letter was enclosed in the following 
letter to a sister of the general, Mrs. A. M.: — 

Arlington, Va., April 20, 1861. 

My dear Sister, — I am grieved at my inability to see you. 
... I have been waiting " for a more convenient season," which 
has brought to many before me deep and lasting regret. Now 
we are in a state of war, which will yield to nothing. The whole 
South is in a state of revolution, into which Virginia, after a long 
struggle, has been drawn ; and though I recognize no necessity 
for this state of things, and would have forborne and pleaded to 
the end for redress of grievances, real or supposed, yet, in my own 
person, I had to meet the question, whether I should take part 
against my native State. 

With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty 
and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make 
up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, 
my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the 
army; and save in defence of my native State, with the sincere 
hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may 
never be called on to draw my sword. 

I know you will blame me ; but you must think as kindly of 
me as you can, and believe that I have endeavored to do what 
I thought right. To show you the feeling and struggle it has 
cost me, I send a copy of my letter to Gen. Scott, which accom- 
panied my letter of resignation. I have no time for more. . . . 
May God guard and protect you and yours, and shower upon you 
everlasting blessings, is the prayer of your devoted brother, 

R. E. LEE. 



Private Letter of Gen. Lee. — The orimnal of the followinor 
letter was found at Arlington House by a Federal soldier : — 

Arlington House, April 5, 1S53. 

INIy dear Son, — I am just in the act of leaving home for 
New Mexico. My fine old regiment has been ordered to that 
distant region, and I must hasten on to see that they are properly 
cared for. I have but little to add in reply to your letters of 
March 26, 27, and 28. Your letters breathe a true spirit of frank- 
ness : they have given myself and your mother great pleasure. 
You must study to be frank with the world : frankness is the 
child of honesty and courage. Say just what you mean to do on 
every occasion, and take it for granted you mean to do right. If 
a friend asks a favor, you should grant it, if it is reasonable ; if not, 
tell him plainly why you cannot : you will wrong him and wrong 
yourself by equivocation of any kind. Never do a wrong thing 
to make a friend or keep one : the man who requires you to do 
so is dearly purchased at a sacrifice. Deal kindly, but firmly, 
with all your classmates : you will find it the policy which wears 
best. Above all, do not appear to others what you are not. If 
you have any fault to find with any one, tell him, not others, of 
what you complain : there is no more dangerous experiment than 
that of undertaking to be one thing before a man's face, and 
another behind his back. We should live, act, and say nothing 
to the injury of any one. It is not only best as a matter of prin- 
ciple, but it is the path to peace and honor. 

In regard to duty, let me, in conclusion of this hasty letter, 
inform you, that, nearly a hundred years ago, there was a day of 
remarkable gloom and darkness, still known as the dark day, — 
a day when the light of the sun was slowly extinguished, as if by 


an eclipse. The legislature of Connecticut was in session ; and, as 
its members saw the unexpected and unaccountable darkness 
coming on, they shared in the general awe and terror. It was 
supposed by many that the last day, the day of judgment, had 
come. Some one, in the consternation of the hour, moved an 
adjournment. Then there arose an old Puritan legislator, Daven- 
port of Stamford, and said, that, if the last day had come, he 
desired to be found at his place, doing his duty; and therefore 
moved that candles be brought in, so that the house could pro- 
ceed with its duty. There was quietness in that man's mind, — the 
quietness of heavenly wisdom, and inflexible willingness to obey 
present duty. Duty, then, is the sublimest word in our language. 
Do your duty in all things, like the old Puritan. You cannot 
do more, you should never wish to do less. Never let me or 
your mother wear one gray hair for any lack of duty on your part. 
Your affectionate father, 

R. E. LEE. 
George Washington Custis Lee. 




Mrs. Mary Custis Lee, wife of Gen. Robert E. Lee, was born 
at Arlington, Va., on the ist of October, a.d. 1808. We will 
give a short sketch of the distinguished ancestry of this lady, 
whose portraits once adorned the walls of the family mansion at 

Daniel Parke, Secretary of the Colony of Virginia, died 
A.D. 1679, and was buried at the "Old Bruton Church," at 
Williamsburg, Va. He left one son, who was born in York 
County, Va. 

This son, Col. Daniel Parke, received from Queen Anne the 
appointment of Governor of Antigua, in the Leeward Islands ; 
and, as a special mark of her regard, she presented him with 
her miniature, encircled with diamonds, as a testimonial to his 
gallantry at the battle of Blenheim. He bore from the Duke of 
Marlborough the despatch announcing to the queen the victory 
over the allied forces. A portrait of Col. Parke, in royal dress, 
painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, a protege of the Duke of Marl- 
borough, is among the most conspicuous and interesting of the 
Arlington paintings. A portrait of Frances Parke, who married 
the Hon. John Custis, and that of her husband, are al^ in this 



collection. These were the parents of Daniel Parke Custis, who 
was born Oct. 15, 1711, and who married Martha Dandridge, 
afterwards the wife of Gen. Washino^ton. 

The Arlington House- 

Their four children were Daniel Parke, Fanny Parke, John 
Parke, and Martha Parke Custis. Upon the death of John Parke 
Custis, Gen. Washington adopted his two youngest children, — 
Eleanor Parke Custis, and George Washington Parke Custis. 
The former married Major Lawrence Lewis, a nephew of Gen, 
Washington: this lady died in Clarke County, Va., in 1852, at 
the advanced age of seventy-four years. The son, George Wash- 
ington Parke Custis, married Mary Lee Fitzhugh, daughter of 
William Fitzhugh, of " Chatham," opposite Fredericksburg, and 


Anne Randolph, These were the parents of Mrs. Robert E. 

Mr. Custis remained in the family of Gen. Washington until 
1799, when he was appointed a cornet of horse, and afterwards 
aide-de-camp to Major-Gen. Charles C. Pinckney of South Caro- 
lina. The present Arlington mansion was built by Mr, Custis, 
and upon the estate left him by his father, which consisted of 
eleven hundred acres of land on the Potomac River, opposite 
Washington City : a very large tract of land, about four miles 
in the rear, was also bequeathed him in the will of Gen. Wash- 

Mr. Custis was a gentleman of refined and cultivated tastes, 
and his love of art continued through life. We venture, in illus- 
tration, to insert a copy of the following letter to the artist, 
Rembrandt Peale: — 

Arlington House, Va., August, 1857. 

Dear Sir, — Yours of the 6th inst. came duly to hand. It 
is a most gratifying event to me to receive a letter from an octo- 
genarian. It calls up the recollection of other days, — the fond, 
endearing memories of the past : indeed, my dear sir, I am myself 
'no chicken,' having entered upon my seventy-seventh year. 
Honor to the memory of the soldier-artist, who hung up his 
palette, girded on his sword, and fought a campaign in the War 
for Independence ; then resumed his palette, and painted the por- 
traits of the general officers ; and without whose artistic labors we 
should not have the likeness of the illustrious soldier, Greene, who 
was second only to him who was first of all. The provincial 
colonel of 1772 is in fine preservation, and always admired. I 
have the first and last of the distinguished and reliable portraits 
of Washington at Arlington House, twenty-four years between 


them ; Peak's and Sharpless'. Wishing you every success in 
your artistic labors, which, it appears, suffer no decline from your 
venerable age, I remain, dear sir. 

Very truly and faithfully yours, 

GEO. \V. p. CUSTIS. 

Mr. Custis died at Arlington, on the loth October, a.d. 1857, 
leaving his beautiful house to his daughter Mary, now wife of 
Gen. Lee. 

In the calm dignity and intelligence of this honored lady, we 
trace the hereditary expression of many of these ancient family 
portraits. Mrs. Lee was mother of seven children, all born pre- 
vious to the Mexican war. " One is not," — the second dauijhter, 
Anne Carter Lee, died in 1862, in North Carolina. A beautiful 
monument has there been erected to her memory by those who 
love and honor her father. 

The surviving children of Gen. and Mrs. Lee are — 

George Washington Custis Lee, 

Mary Custis Lee, 

William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, 

Eleanor Agnes Lee, 

Robert Edward Lee, 

Mildred Childe Lee. 

^U5 tui ^nt^lmL 


From various records, we are enabled to trace the 
several branches of the English Lees to a later period 
than that 2:iven in the old document. 

Of the house of Ditchly, already mentioned, we have Sir John 
Lee of Wiltshire, who was created a Knight of the Bath at the 
marriage of the Prince of Wales, a.d. 1501, Time, Henry VH* 
Mary Brown of Arsly, in Bedfordshire, was the second wife of 
Sir John, who was brother to Sir Thomas Lee, baronet, to Sir 
William, Dean of the Arches, and to Sir George, Lord Chief 
Justice of England. She was afterwards married to Col. Schultz.t 

The following inscription is said to be upon the door of Sir 
John's house at Addington : — 

" In fourteen hundred and none, 
Here was neither stick nor stone ; 
In fourteen hundred and three, 
The goodly building which here you see." 

« Nicolas's Order of the Bath. t Nichols's Literary Anecdotes. 



Sir Henry Lee was elected and invested a member 

A.D. 1597. 

of the Order of the Garter 23d April, and installed 
24th May, .1597. He died 12th February, 161 1. 

Ann Lee, a daughter of Sir Henry, married a Goodwin of 

Archdeacon Lee forms the second member of the 

A.D. 1611. 

family who joined this order. Their Stall Plates are 
yet to be seen in St. George's Chapel.* 

Sir Richard Lee, admiral, was invested in the Order of the Bath, 
12th April, 1 81 5, and died 6th August, 1837. He was rear-admi- 
ral of the white squadron of his Majesty's fleet, and was nomi- 
nated a knight commander of the Most Honorable Military Order 
of the Bath, 2d January, 181 5. 

Capt. Lee received a medal from the king, upon the taking of 
the French fleet, on the 4th November, 1805, which had escaped 
at Trafalgar. 

The medal bears the inscription, — 

*' Sir Richard Lee Knt, Captain of H. 

M. S. Coiirageux, on the 4th 

November M.D.CCCV. 

The French Squadron Taken."! 

* Nicolas's Order of Garter. t Nicolas's Order of Bath. 


We have already traced the Lees of Virginia from 

•' A.D. 1003. 

this branch ; but the " Lees of Cotton Hall " were still 
known in England later than 1838. 

Through Eldred Launcelot Lee, who was twelve years of age 
at the close of the old record, and the first son of Thomas Lee, 
and grandson of Launcelot Lee of Cotton, we continue to trace 
this line. 

Launcelot Lee of Cotton, 1750, as mentioned in the ^^ ^ ^ 
article of Mr. William Lee of London, is doubtless a son 
of Eldred Launcelot Lee. This Launcelot Lee had a daughter 
Dorothy, who married Edward Bathurst, F. A. S., Esq., of that 
year; also another daughter, Mary, who married Dr. William 
Carter of Canterbury: she was married a.d. 1786, and ^^ ^^^ 
died 1815. Dr. Carter was born 1755, and died 1822.* 
The sons of Launcelot Lee are not given. 

The Rev. Henry Lee of Kingsgate House, Hants, is a repre- 
sentative of this branch of the family. He married Phillippa, 
daughter of Sir William Blackstone, knight, of the Priory of 

* Burke's Landed Gentry of England. 


Willingford. The Rev. Mr. Lee died in 1838, leaving 
two sons. First, Rev. Henry Lee of Kingsgate House, 
Hants, J. F. B. D. of New College, Oxford, and Vicar of North 
Bradly, near Trowbridge, 1832; a prebendary of Hereford, and 
fellow of Winchester College. He married Julia, eldest daughter 
of George Lowther, Esq., late of Kilven, County Meath. 

William, the second son of the Rev. Mr. Lee, was born 1796. 
He married, in 1836, EHzabeth Thomson of Aubry, Sussex.* 
. _ _ " Thomas Lee, Esq., descended from a very ancient 

A.D. 1806. , -^ 

family, of Lee of Cotton, Shropshire. He married Ann, 
sister of the celebrated John Warner, bishop of Rochester; and 
was father of the venerable Archdeacon Lee, whose son, Col. 
Henry Lee of Donjon, Canterbury, married Dorothy, daughter 
of Sir George Grubham Howe, baronet, of Berwick." f 

The family of Brydges, or Bridges, succeeded this branch of the 
family, and bear their arms. 

The ancient family seat, " Cotton Hall," continued in the family 
to the nineteenth century, when it was conveyed by an heiress to 
the Wingfields of Teckencote, County Rutland. 

From further documents, we are able to trace the descendants 
of Lancelot Lee to the year 181 3, through his son Thomas Lee, 
whose eldest son, Eldred Lancelot Lee, was only twelve years of 
age at the close of the old genealogy, in 1663. 

Eldred Lancelot Lee, born at Cotton, 1651. • 

* Burke's Landed Gentry. f Burke's Commoners of England. 


Lancelot Lee and Harry Lee, warden of Winchester College. 

Harry Lancelot Lee of Cotton, living at Bath, England, with 
his wife, and daughter Catherine Ann Harriet Lee, in 1813. 

Of the English estates we take the following interesting facts 
from the family records : — 

" The Villam de Lee, subtus Pebenhull, unknown now. 

"The Langlev Estate went off early, by Roger Lee; very 

" The Roden Estate remains unaccounted for ; also valuable. 

" The Coke Estate, supposed to be in Derbyshire ; also unac- 
counted for. 

" The Astley Estate, the Cotton Estate, and the Nordley Estate, 
united, formed three thousand acres, and were handed down till 
1786, when fourteen hundred acres were sold of Astley and Nord- 
ley. The manorial rights remain, and the seniorage of the village 
of Allerbey (or Alverly). Part of the Cotton Estate now in 
possession includes a part of the Astley Estate, which came into 
and remained with this family since Robert Lee's marriage with 
Margaret Astley, in 1385, now four hundred and thirty-four years. 

" Allerbey Church is supposed to be built upon land given by 
Hugh Hinton to John Lee, in 1295, and to have remained in 
this family for more than five hundred and twenty-four years ; 
and a part of this land is said to have remained with the family 
since the first grant from William of Normandy to his followers, 
more than seven hundred years since, by what was termed his 
farewell grants." — Cai^ta Valde Antiqua. 

Lees of England. 


Sir Richard Lee 


Elizabeth, daughter 

of Langley and 

of Sir Edward Allen Kt. 


Shropshire — Bt. 

Died 1660. 

Rachel Lee = Rich^ Cleaton, Esq' 

Eldest daughter. 

Sir Edward 

2'"> son of Ralph Cleaton Smyth Esq' 

of Onely, Shropshire Baronet. 


Mary Lee 
'^ daughter. 


Watkins Williams 

Wynn Esq» of 


Eldest daughter married 

Thomas Ashton Smyth Esq' 

of Tedworth Hants. 

Second daughter married 
Hon. Chas. Finch. 

We have already seen, from Article [16], that the male line of Langley expired in 1660. The 

family estate and arms were afterwards held by the Smyth, or Smith, Family, which is still largely 

represented throughout England. 


:«Kgl««d[ Bus, 

We have already mentioned Philip Lee, second son of Richard 
Lee, as the first of the family established in Maryland. He 
moved into the State early in 1700, and died, according to his 
will, in 1744. He was married twice, and left a large family, — 
nine sons, and eight daughters. The sons were Richard of Blen- 
heim, Thomas, — the father of Gov. Thomas Sim Lee, and 
grandfather of the present Hon. John Lee, ex-congressman of 
Maryland, — Philip, Corbin, Hancock, Arthur, John, and George. 

Thomas Sim Lee was born in Prince-George County, Md., in 
1745, and held many important offices, a list of which we sub- 
join : — 

In 1777, Thomas Sim Lee was elected by the legislature of 
Maryland a member of council to the governor. 

1779. Was elected by the legislature the second republican 

1782.' Having served the constitutional term of three years, 
the General Assembly vote their thanks. 

1787. Was appointed by the General Assembly a deputy to 
attend the meeting at Philadelphia, on the second Monday in 
May, — convention that formed the Constitution of the United 
States. He did not serve. 


1 788. The Maryland Convention assembled at Annapolis, April 
21, and ratified the Constitution of the United States, April 28, 
by a vote of sixty-three " to eleven. Gov. Lee was a delegate to 
this convention, with Gov. Johnson and Richard Potts, from Fred- 
erick County. Gov. Johnson and Gov. Lee were the two electors 
from Frederick County, to choose the Senate of Maryland for a 
term of five years; being the first Senate chosen after the adoption 
of the Constitution of the United States. 

From 1792 to 1794, Gov. Lee served again as governor of 

1794. Unanimously elected a member of the Senate of Mary- 
land. He declined the appointment* 

1794. Was appointed by President Washington a commis- 
sioner of the city of Washington ; declined the appointment. 

1 798. Again elected governor, but declined to accept, having 
retired from public life. Gov. Lee died at his farm, Needvvood 
Forest, in Frederick County, Nov. 9, 1819, forty years from the 
day he was first elected governor of Maryland. 

We also add a letter from Gen. Knox, Secretary of War, dated 
Philadelphia, Dec. 8, 1 794, which will show the high estimation 
in which Gov. Lee was held by Gen. Washington : — 

" The President of the United States conceives that he cannot, 
consistently with his sense of justice, omit the occasion presented 
to him by the disbandment of the militia raised for the purpose 
of vindicating the laws, without offering to you his cordial thanks 
for your zealous and effectual co-operation in calling the militia 
of Maryland into the field for suppressing the late insurrection 
in the western parts of this State. It is with great pleasure 

• See Sparks's Life of Washington, vol. x. 


that I obey the President's directions in making this communi- 

Gov. Thomas Sim Lee married Mary Digges. Their children 
were — * 




Mary Christian, 




All deceased, except the last. Hon. John Lee, now residing 
in Washington, D.C., having represented his native State in 
Congress for many years. This branch of the Lee Family have 
maintained the faith of their parents, who were faithful Catholics, 
— a fact which is recognized in the following notice, introducing 
an original letter of Gen. Washington to Gov. Thomas Sim 
Lee : — 

" We have before us a manuscript letter from Gen. Washington, 
which, we believe, has never yet been printed. It is full of inter- 
est at this time, because it is addressed to a Catholic, to his Excel- 
lency, Thomas Sim Lee, then governor of Maryland. Its purpose 
was to announce the surrender of Cornwallis, and to notify Gov. 
Lee that a portion of the prisoners would be sent within his 
jurisdiction. Gov. Lee, by the by, administered the trust reposed 
in him so satisfactorily, that he was re-elected with great una- 
nimity. It appears that Washington recognized and appreciated 
the fact, that, in " the times that tried men's souls," none were 


more faithful to the American cause, and none more prompt in 
making sacrifices for it, than the people of Catholic Maryland : — 

" Camp near York, October, 1781. 

"Dear Sir, — Enclosed I have the honor of transmitting to 
your Excellency the terms upon which Lord Cornwallis has sur- 
rendered the garrisons of York and Gloucester. 

" We have not been able yet to get an account of prisoners, 
ordnance, or stores in the departments ; but, from the best general 
report, there will be (officers included) upwards of seven thousand 
men, besides seamen ; more than seven pieces of brass ordnance, 
and one hundred of iron, with their stores, as also other movable 
articles. My present engagements will not allow me to add more 
than my congratulation on this happy event, and to express the 
high sense I have of the powerful aid which I have derived from 
the State of Maryland in complying with every request to the 
Executive of it. The prisoners will be divided between Winches- 
ter, in Virginia, and Frederick, in Maryland. 

With every sentiment of the most perfect esteem and regard, I 
have the honor to be your Excellency's most obedient servant,